In just five years, Manchester Business School's (MBS) Dubai campus student body has grown from 32 to more than 1,000 students with the 2011 intake. According to MBS CEO, Nigel Banister, the school's Dubai campus is set to grow even further.
"We have regional centres around the world, in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Miami and Rio de Janeiro, but Dubai is our biggest one," said Banister.
He added that as a global business school, MBS wants to replicate its broad scope of activities in Dubai. The school was using Dubai as a pilot project to not only offer MBA courses in the region but also tailored executive programmes for Gulf companies.
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"We will be announcing some major contracts for executive education soon," he said. "A year ago we carried out a survey to look at gaps in the market and followed up on them," he said.
Banister said this was a completely new activity in the region, but is offered in Manchester where the school has assisted the growth of companies, offering access to MBS' top faculty members.
"Another new offering is a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) where activities concerning research will be stepped up," said Banister.
MBS will be seeking to recruit senior executives in their mid-40s for the DBA, who have already made their mark in the business world.
New recruits will enrol to conduct research relevant to their company or sector, and will be guided by top faculty on planning new strategies for their organisations.
MBS already has 15 students for the DBA programme.
"The difference between a DBA and PhD is the research output is not just published academically, but it immediately solves a real problem," said Banister. "It's very applicable to those who are engaged in business initiatives." The school's Dubai office is also now serving as an enrolment hub for full-time students in Manchester.