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University of Birmingham Dubai’s PGCE Primary with iQTS Programme achieves Outstanding Rating

by Belinda Breeze

Teacher education stands as the cornerstone of any reputable University, and the University of Birmingham takes immense pride in its longstanding tradition of delivering excellence in this field.

Since the launch of its Dubai campus in 2018, the University of Birmingham Dubai (UOBD) has been instrumental in extending the University’s mission to encompass teacher education across various specialisations including primary, secondary, special education needs, and English as a second language.

Starting with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) to provide initial teacher training, the School of Education at UOBD has expanded its portfolio to offer six distinct programmes from MA Education (Learning and Teaching); MA Education (Education Leadership); MA Education (Inclusion and Special Education Needs); to the PGCE International and PG Certificate in Inclusion and Special Education Needs.

Collaborating with both new and experienced educators enables UOBD to shape not only schools within the region but also the future generations of undergraduate students. The impact of UOBD graduates resonates across the country, fulfilling the University’s commitment to the current and future educational aspirations of the UAE.

Over the past six years, the School of Education has forged strong school partnerships in the region, enabling teacher trainees to benefit from several ongoing professional development opportunities. Trainees have access to some of the best support networks and learning opportunities, the result of which is a dedicated cadre of alumni who are now making significant contributions within schools across the region. The academic team at UOBD eagerly anticipates the moment when the students they teach will also become esteemed members of the University of Birmingham Dubai alumni community.

In 2022, UOBD’s flagship teacher education programme, the PGCE, was chosen by the UK Department of Education (DfE) to deliver its pilot international qualified teacher status (iQTS) programme. The first cohort of iQTS students graduated in July 2023 which marked a significant milestone in extending the reach of the programme within the region. This year the DfE announced all pilot providers would undergo the first round of inspections to ensure quality delivery of the programme.

The recent inspection conducted by ISI, the DfE-approved inspectorate, awarded the University of Birmingham Dubai’s Primary PGCE programme (5-11) with iQTS an Outstanding rating, a testament to the dedication and commitment of UOBD’s trainee teachers, school mentors, and the collaborative efforts of the UK and Dubai-based School of Education colleagues. The University of Birmingham Dubai is the only institution delivering this internationally recognised qualification in person, providing an individualised and supportive model ensuring strong teacher graduates. As the only fully in-person provision for iQTS outside of England, this Outstanding rating reaffirms the University’s commitment to providing high-quality teacher training that meets the rigorous standards set by the DfE.

The Primary PGCE with iQTS programme follows a comprehensive and innovative approach to teacher training, preparing new teachers to excel in diverse classroom environments. This Outstanding rating reflects high levels of excellence in teaching and learning, strong partnerships with schools, and dedication to raising the profile of teaching in the UAE and beyond. Following the success of the Primary programme, the University of Birmingham Dubai is preparing to launch the iQTS Secondary in selective subject specialisms for 2025.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this outstanding cohort, do attend the upcoming Get Into Teaching event at University of Birmingham Dubai.

Whether you are ready to embark on a teaching career or simply curious to learn more, this event offers an excellent opportunity to receive expert advice and engage with teachers from partner schools, as well as current and former students of the teacher training programmes. Alternatively, you can also drop into one of the virtual information evenings for prospective students every Wednesday from 4-5pm.