Spotlight on borderless education as Dubai hosts international meet

Foreign students rank quality of education and job placement as top reasons for choosing to study in Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Borderless education will be a key topic of discussion at the forthcoming International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) conference to be held in Dubai on 29 September – 1 October 2015 at the Dubai Knowledge Village Auditorium.

“Dubai in particular has been a growing education hub for many international campuses seeking to enhance their presence in the region by setting up their regional branches in the Emirate. There has also been an increase of intake from international students in many higher education institutions in Dubai. These developments have had a significant impact in the changing education landscape in the Middle East and Africa,” said Rhona Greenhill, co-founder, IPSEF.

According to a report prepared by The Parthenon Group, a leading strategy advisor to the global education industry, Dubai has been successful in attracting international universities to set up branch campuses here due to its favourable regulatory environment, and is increasingly preferred to other emerging international education hubs such as Malaysia and Singapore. The report cites ease of entry and foreign ownership as among the factors that make Dubai a destination for international universities.

The report further said that Dubai has also become a favourite destination for students seeking higher education degrees, owing to five key factors: it has a developing economy that will continue to need graduates in a variety of industries; it is ideally located to attract European, African, East, Southeast Asian, South Asian, GCC, and CIS students.

In addition, Dubai is perceived to have a safe environment for students, an important factor for both students and families. Here, students can use and improve their English, and the degree is well perceived internationally. Finally, Dubai is seen a culturally diverse and thriving city, and will attract further global attention as it hosts the World Expo in 2020.

In a survey of students presented as part of the report, satisfaction with the Dubai experience is high among both current students and recent graduates. Respondents ranked quality of institutions and job placement record highest among the factors that influenced their decision to study in Dubai.

The Parthenon Group’s Ashwin Assomull will present other important trends in the Middle East and Africa at the IPSEF Forum in Dubai. “We expect that the Middle East will continue to be a high-growth region for operators because of its growing expat population and favourable regulations. However, going forward, operators will need to focus on providing some form of differentiation – delivering superior academic outcomes and giving back to the community will help schools to win in this market,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, Dubai International Academic City will also share insights on how borderless education is transforming the education sector throughout the region.

Dr. Kazim’s presentation will focus on “How Innovation is Paving the Future for Borderless Higher Education”. This year has been declared as the UAE’s Year of Innovation, and the DIAC has been at the forefront of the Emirates’ pioneering efforts in the field of education, where multi-tiered universities from multiple nationalities are located in one location, allowing for sharing of expertise, student and staff exchange and research and development practices.

Attendees will also benefit from a special session dedicated to education opportunities in India, through a keynote address entitled “Manoeuvring the great Indian education opportunity” to be presented by Anshul Arora CEO, Edvance Group Arun Arora Partner & Chairman, Edvance Group.

“India has a very large and young demographic that is need of progressive education. Yet few education groups have been able to address this great need and opportunity. Putting the spotlight on India will provide perspectives on the nature of the opportunity and challenges in addressing the great Indian education opportunity,” added Greenhill.

IPSEF is being held in partnership with Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA); it is also supported by Oxford University Press, The Parthenon Group, GL Education, and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS); in association with ISC and UK Trade & Investment.

Programme highlights and registration information are available at 

Source: Dubai Current Students and Recent Graduates Survey, n=149 (current students=99; recent graduates=50)


Now in its sixth year, IPSEF has provided a unique international forum for private sector school owners and educators, governments, investors and education service providers to share best practice, identify innovative education models, and address the key strategic issues related to the delivery of non-state education. Since its launch IPSEF has been delivered in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and London.

For conference inquiries, please contact:

Rhona Greenhill
Co-Founder, IPSEF
T: +44 203 371 7883

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact:

Mark Roelofsen
Director, IPSEF

For media assistance:

Anthon Garcia
MEA Communications
M: +97150 139 8661

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