|A view from International Education Show in Sharjah, a Higher Education Exhibition held in 2010|
Strong growth in higher education will continue to provide students with a bigger choice of courses every year. A prominent fixture on the UAE’s education calendar, the International Education Show (IES) in Sharjah will field a larger delegation of universities and schools this year.
Hosted at the Sharjah Expo Centre from January 29 to February 1, the four-day show has registered a 31 per cent rise in the number of exhibitors with nearly 150 institutions signing up for the event.
An additional 60 exhibitors from India will also be taking part in the Great India Education Fair which is being held for the second consecutive year featuring international boarding schools, universities and colleges from India.
With the UAE Cabinet approving 21 per cent of its total budget allocation of Dh46 billion for the education sector in 2014, it becomes a continuing trend where the government is placing high importance on the sector, thus boosting demand for higher education.
“Though we have good local and international institutions in the country and can lay claim to the status of an emerging educational hub, we have to admit that huge gaps exist between workforce supply and demand in a number of industries. Through the high budgetary allocations and proactive strategies implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the UAE government is aiming to plug these gaps,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Expo Centre.
“We are also likely to see more educational institutions coming to the UAE and the existing ones increasing their programmes to meet the rising requirements. The International Education Show will be a dedicated platform for local and international institutions to target the ambitious student population in the region,” added Al Midfa.
Asians constitute the largest student community in the UAE and the Great India Education Fair, India’s most popular education event, will target the expat population. The fair will also help parents interact directly with principals from some of India’s top boarding schools which are offering spot admissions from Grade 2 onwards.