Innovation is an evaluation criterion in the performance ratings of Dubai schools, with creative thinking, innovative teaching methods and curriculum strategies being assessed by the governing board.
As part of this overhaul, an opportunity presented itself for businesses working in IT education to develop courses in the field and work with institutions looking to utilise digital technologies to improve student learning. While many of Dubai’s schools and universities already offer tech programmes, this intensified focus on innovation led tertiary providers city-wide to expand course selections to students looking to further their futures in a variety of fields.
Designing their own paths
Dubai Holding and the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, in collaboration with two of the most prominent design and innovation universities - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design (Parsons) – has begun welcoming students to The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI). Set in the heart of the Dubai Design District (d3), DIDI will offer the region’s first Bachelor of Design degree to support the cultivation of regional design talent, and ultimately the UAE’s knowledge-based economy. With the sector forecast to grow in terms of demand, the need for qualified graduates grows with it and DIDI will contribute towards Dubai’s aim of becoming a global hub of innovation.
Product Design, Strategic Design Management, Media, Visual Art and Fashion Design will be the five areas of concentration offered in DIDI’s four-year Bachelor of Design curriculum, earmarked as a first-of-its-kind journey that empowers its students with a balanced model of academic learning and practical experience.
Futures in architecture
For the second year running, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Dubai is offering a specialised Masters Degree in City Science. The 12-month programme is the first of its kind in the region. Created for thought-leaders looking to be part of the digital transformation and fast-developing landscape of smart city design, RIT’s Silicon Oasis Dubai campus joins its New York sister site in setting the ideal scene for students aiming to explore the digitalisation of urban developments.
Accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education, RIT Dubai’s Master of Science (MS) City Science degree applies key subject learnings through real-world problem solving and research methods while exploring the latest smart city trends.
A primary focus of the course is the issue of sustainability, which takes into account complex interactions between the availability of water, food, transport, and education. The course also explores the relationship between digitalisation of urban areas and the consequent collection, analysis, and visualization of big data required. Following a flexible learning model, the course caters to working professionals and offers graduates a holistic understanding of smart city design, opening their career paths to multiple industries.
Realising their dreams
EON Reality, a leading developer of augmented reality and virtual reality software - in partnership with Emirates Advanced Investments Trading (EAIT) and the Dubai Higher College of Technology - recently congratulated the first crop of graduates from the VR Innovation Academy housed within the Interactive Digital Centre (IDC) at the Dubai Men’s Campus. Future intakes will be offered a dynamic hands-on curriculum which encourages learning of the entire augmented and virtual reality design and development process.
As part of a global network, Dubai’s IDC is the first in the UAE to offer this immersive programme. Using practical real-world projects, the VR Innovation Academy syllabus includes an advanced VR and 3D development course teaching background theory with applied experiential training to instill innovative thought processes to its students.
By promoting entrepreneurial thinking through a localised AVR curriculum, successful candidates will not only learn how to create VR and AR content for their industries but will also gain skills to open doors to other fields including architecture and product design, gaming development and broadcast media.