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Universities in the US and UK have long been among the top choices for UAE students heading abroad to study. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, however, many international students withdrew from American colleges because they felt US perceptions of them had changed and because visa requirements became tougher.
In 2004, international enrolments in the US had their first absolute decline for the first time since 1971, after the smallest increase in 2003, according to the Institute of International Education. Enrolment from the Middle East dropped 9 per cent and from the UAE it declined 15 per cent.
As students, cast around for other options, it was universities and colleges in Australian and New Zealand that benefitted, gaining popularity among Middle Eastern students. Currently, about 1,000 students from the UAE study in Australia annually, according to Gerard Seeber, Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner for the Middle East and North Africa at the Australian Consulate General in Dubai.
“Dubai, Sydney, Singapore—all these three cities, for all the right reasons, are on a growth tangent,” said Christopher Abraham, Head of Campus, S P Jain School of Global Business in Dubai. “That’s where the synergy comes in. They are growing economies with great opportunities and conducive b
usiness environments. We are crafting global business leaders.”
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