Home LearningDid You Know? ‘What a Difference a Year Makes’: Middlesex University Dubai achieves a 5 Star Rating in the KHDA Higher Education Classifications 2020

‘What a Difference a Year Makes’: Middlesex University Dubai achieves a 5 Star Rating in the KHDA Higher Education Classifications 2020

by Eddie Rayner
What A Difference A Day Makes

The University scored five stars across employability, internationalisation, research, facilities, happiness and wellbeing, and inclusiveness.

Middlesex University Dubai goes from strength to strength and has rounded off a stellar academic year of achievements for students, faculty and staff by being awarded a 5 Star rating in the 2020 KHDA Higher Education Classification developed in partnership with QS™.

The academic year 2019/20 began with regional industry recognition; with Middlesex University Dubai being awarded ‘Best Media Centre’ at the Forbes Middle East Higher Education Awards 2019. The title was awarded in recognition of the outstanding curricula, achievements, and facilities of the University’s esteemed Media School. 

Middlesex University Dubai also introduced the first of its kind in the region – the launch of its Centre for Innovation in Human Experience. CIHx brings together three specialised labs: Insightsx Lab, RoboTechx Lab, and Immersive VRx Lab – each equipped with specialist resources and technology and expertise in the field of Data Science, Robotics, VR/AR and Human-Centred Design.

CIHx complements its other centres which have gone from strength-to-strength in the past year, including the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Business Excellence, where new ventures take flight, the Institute of Sustainable Development – which fosters the advancement of sustainability into the University, community and global practices – and the University’s dedicated Centre of Innovation and Excellence. CIE works to transform the mindsets of business experts and governmental managers by developing customised learning programmes tailored to the specific needs of an organisation.

Earlier this year, Middlesex University Dubai’s MSc Banking and Finance was awarded the status of FRM Academic Partner with the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). GARP is the world’s leading professional organisation for risk managers and sets the global standard in professional certification with the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification. 

Furthermore, amidst the global pandemic, Middlesex University Dubai showed its ability to foster flexibility, innovation and community spirit in times of global uncertainty as it exercised a seamless transition to online learning by providing creative teaching solutions through its virtual classrooms and other modern technology platforms to minimise educational disruptions.

Middlesex University Dubai carefully crafted a home learning strategy to ensure all students would continue receiving high-quality education and support during this period where education systems across the world are redefining the way curriculums are delivered to pupils.

The switchover to online academic delivery was both seamless and resounding success.

The KHDA rating is the latest mark of excellence, with Middlesex University Dubai scoring five stars across employability, internationalisation, research, facilities, happiness and wellbeing, and inclusiveness. 

The KHDA rating system applies to international universities in Dubai and benchmarks their performance across a range of indicators, such as quality of teaching and research, learning environments, creativity and social responsibility.

KHDA inspectors awarded Middlesex University Dubai – which first opened its doors in 2005 – the highest rating of 5-stars – granted only to universities which offer a world-class standard of education and have demonstrated strengths across all categories. 

To meet the five-star grade, universities must demonstrate a global reputation, highly regarded international research and teaching standards, and graduates who are sought after by employers, among others.

In its latest ranking, KDHA inspectors particularly commended the internationalisation of Middlesex University Dubai. With a growing need for higher education institutions to cultivate a global outlook to offer students the best possible preparation for life and careers in the 21st century, KHDA inspectors highlighted the importance of institutions to develop and articulate their own campus-based internationalisation strategy to meet the expectations of students who increasingly want international experiences while pursuing their university studies. 

The KHDA awarded Middlesex University Dubai full marks across a number of sub-sectors, including international collaboration, international student support services, international faculty, international exchange programmes and international diversity. 

The university also received 50/50 marks for happiness and wellbeing of both the 3,500+strong student body and the 150+ members of faculty, highlighting the wellbeing activities and voluntary activities it has on offer to boost happiness and morale across the University. The state-of-the-art facilities at Middlesex University Dubai were awarded 99 out of the available 100 points, with particular commendation for the University sports facilities, student accommodation, student clubs and library resources. Topically, the health, safety and environmental factors of the University were also awarded the highest possible rating. 

Middlesex University Dubai also received full marks across the research category – which enables higher education institutions to demonstrate their research assets such as research quality and productivity. It scored top in the number of papers per faculty submitted, in addition to funds dedicated to research and development support.

The university was also praised across a myriad of other sectors, including the career service support it offers to students and graduates during and post-degree, graduate employment rate and student satisfaction.

Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of Middlesex University Dubai, welcomed the rating, saying: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank every faculty member, every student and every member of the Middlesex University Dubai family who has helped make the 2019/2020 academic year one of our most successful to date.  

“The KHDA is a hallmark for quality education in Dubai, so we are delighted that Middlesex University Dubai was awarded five stars. We pride ourselves on being a highly ranked university not just in the UAE, but regionally and globally. It was, therefore, particularly pleasing to see the recognition Middlesex University Dubai was awarded for its internationalism, and for our world-class facilities that attract students from across the globe to our university every year.

“With this latest Higher Education Classification (HEC), we hope to give students and their parents the confidence of choosing Middlesex University Dubai as the international institution of choice, one which has proven itself time-and-time as a world-class university that helps prepare and propel graduates onto their preferred career paths.” 

Dr Fernandes said the success of Middlesex University Dubai in the past 12 months will be the benchmark for future achievements: “2020 has both been the dawn of a new decade – and a year which has seen unprecedented times – not only in the world of academia but for the wider world at large.  

“However, this phase will pass. Opportunities will return. Our world will emerge stronger than before. This is already the case at Middlesex University Dubai, which has been going from strength-to-strength, with a record expected year of admissions and an expanded portfolio of programmes available in the autumn.

“We look forward to continuing to build the highest level of excellence as we get ready for a new year of preparing graduates to leave their mark on the world.”

In 2019, Middlesex University Dubai had 150+ members of faculty, 3,500+ students, 780+ graduates and offered 67 programmes in disciplines including media, business, education, engineering, humanities, IT, law and tourism and hospitality.