Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai is the largest British higher education institution in Dubai licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for total student enrolment for a third consecutive year. The data from KHDA shows that over 4,800 students from over 120 nationalities are studying at the university, reflecting an 8% increase on the previous academic year. We discussed this incredible achievement with Professor Cody Morris Paris PhD, the Deputy Director of Research & Business and Head of the Business School at MDX.
EdUAE: Middlesex University Dubai has been recorded as having the highest number of total student enrolments for the third consecutive year for institutions licensed by KHDA. Can you tell us more about this?
Professor Cody Morris Paris: Middlesex University Dubai is the largest British university in Dubai licensed by KHDA for a third year (according to KHDA Open Data 2023), and we couldn’t be more proud of this achievement. In addition to having the most enrolled students for popular degree subjects such as Business and Law, we see subjects in our portfolio such as Information Technology and Media and Design continuing to attract more students year-on-year.
We work continuously to ensure that our student experience and teaching and learning remains world-class, preparing our students to launch their careers in the UAE and around the world, by introducing diverse programmes and inspirational curriculums that prepare students for a successful career. The UAE and Dubai are providing a fantastic environment for institutions like ours to grow and ambitious students to achieve their goals. This is why we continue to attract students from around the world to study with us, and why we are continuing to grow in a thriving market such as the UAE, which recognises the importance of every student having access to a top-quality education.
‘’We work continuously to ensure that our student experience and teaching and learning remains world-class, preparing our students to launch their careers in the UAE and around the world’’
EdUAE: To what do you credit the substantial increase in student enrolment from diverse nationalities?
Professor CP: Over 4,800 students from over 120 nationalities are studying at Middlesex University Dubai, reflecting an 8% increase on the 2021-2022 academic year. The number of international students who choose us as their university has also increased every year, with students joining us from countries and regions as diverse as China, Russia and the CIS countries, Europe and Latin America. Many students come here attracted by the fact Dubai is a thriving global business and trade hub. As a result, the city offers fantastic job opportunities for those who want to make an impact on an organisation or even start their own enterprise. Students are also attracted by the quality of life available here, the safety, unique cultural experiences, and the fact Dubai offers incredible travel connections to major hubs around the world. There are so many resources, communities and support here to help students to succeed, both at university and around the city.
EdUAE: How does MDX commit to providing quality education and fostering a multicultural learning environment?
Professor CP: With the world changing rapidly, it’s incredibly important for universities to prepare their students to graduate with strong academic knowledge as well as practical, real-world experience in their field. This combination underpins our approach to academia. As well as earning a globally-recognised UK degree from a leading international university in the UAE, our students graduate with a wealth of industry experience and soft skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving and lifelong learning that employers actively search for.
We’re tapping into the industry innovation in the UAE to benefit our students. Our faculty utilise their expertise and networks to ensure their students gain the latest real-world insights in class, through initiatives such as guest speakers, field trips and industry competitions. Our Careers and Employability Services team also offers career counselling, career days to connect students with employers, and job and internship search advice, among other services for students and alumni. For example, our latest career fair saw more than 1,000 students and alumni engage with over 120 top UAE and global employers. Our students are highly employable and can apply their learning to the workplace after graduating, because they’ve already been doing that throughout their studies.
‘’Students are attracted by the quality of life available here, the safety, unique cultural experiences, and the fact Dubai offers incredible travel connections to major hubs around the world’’
EdUAE: What benefits are there for students learning in such a multicultural environment?
Professor CP: By learning in an international, multicultural environment, students are exposed to new perspectives on their field and are also able to meet people from all over the world. This exposes them to other cultures and ways of working, which benefits them at university, at work and in daily life. Students learn cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural understanding and how to work in an international environment, which is very likely the type of professional environment that they will join when they start their careers. Postgraduate students, who are deepening their knowledge of their field with a Master’s, study with likeminded individuals from a range of industries and countries, offering them new perspectives they can apply to their own professional practice.
EdUAE: What impact has the growth of the university had on the educational landscape in Dubai?
Professor CP: Dubai is a dynamic global hub for higher education, which is spurring ahead the growth of Dubai and the UAE’s competitive knowledge economy. Middlesex University Dubai is immensely proud of our contributions to the higher education landscape in the UAE over the past 19 years. We are proud to provide a world-class UK learning experience in the heart of Dubai and be empowering thousands of qualified, innovative, and talented graduates who are making impactful contributions to the UAE’s economy and society, in a diverse range of industries. As the largest UK university in Dubai licensed by KHDA, we look forward to continuing our contributions to the educational landscape in the UAE through talent development and collaborative research that brings government, industry and academic expertise together to benefit all.
EdUAE: What future plans and initiatives are in place to enhance the educational experience for students?
Professor CP: We’re consistently innovating and updating our academic curriculums and facilities to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve and continue to provide our students with the best possible learning environment. With newly launched programmes in areas such as Clinical Health Psychology, IT, and a new specialised LLM pathway for this September, as well as more activities and events organised in our state-of-the-art facilities, students can look forward to further opportunities to connect with industry, discover new interests, and explore potential career paths.
‘’As well as earning a globally-recognised UK degree, our students graduate with a wealth of industry experience and soft skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving and lifelong learning that employers actively search for’’
EdUAE: What do your students say they love the most about studying at MDX?
Professor CP: We hear regularly from students that they really enjoy the well-rounded experience at Middlesex University Dubai and how they are encouraged to get involved in the lively community on campus. From sports to social clubs to industry competitions, there is an initiative to suit every student’s interests – and if there isn’t one yet, we empower our students to start their own! The opportunities we provide for our students to engage with industry are also second-to-none. For example, our Mooting Society has achieved the #1 ranking in the UAE for Mooting and #20 in Mediation and Negotiation in the World, according to the NICA Team Ranking, one of the most prominent law school moot court rankings in the world. What an amazing achievement!
Professor Cody Morris Paris PhD is the Deputy Director of Research & Business and Head of the Business School at Middlesex University Dubai. He holds a PhD in Community Resource Development, a MSc in Recreation & Tourism Studies and a BIS in International Geography and Political Science-International Studies with minors in Cultural Anthropology and Tourism from Arizona State University, USA. Cody has authored/co-authored nearly 100 academic articles, book chapters, and papers in conference proceedings and his research has been recognised with several prestigious awards. He serves on the Editorial Boards of several leading journals and is the Editor in Chief of the e-Review of Tourism Research. He currently serves as the President of the Asia Pacific Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association. Cody also serves on the Board of Directors of Amizade, a global-service learning and community development NGO with UN Consultative Status and has travelled to more than 115 countries.