UOWD President, Professor Rob Whelan, hosted ambassadors, a well known UAE historian, and a range of industry executives at the Hilton Hotel in Abu Dhabi on March 14 to seek input on a proposed Master of International Studies program.
Professor Whelan told the group that, given the UAEs position in the global economy and the nations goal of developing a world-class, knowledge-based economy, the need for graduate education in international studies seemed obvious. "Our surveys and other research have shown that employers are looking for people who understand international economics, history, politics, and development, he said.
"Government departments and agencies as well as multinationals and local companies have to function in the global market, Professor Whelan added. "The more understanding their managers have of how global systems work, the more successful they are likely to be.
Diplomats and other participants at the working lunch were unanimously enthusiastic about the new graduate program, and especially supported the offering at Masters level. One contributor said that "...Masters students are more likely to have the life experience and maturity needed to make the most of the great opportunity offered by this new program.
The Master of International Studies is inspired by a current program at the University of Wollongong in Australia, which emphasises Asia and the Pacific. The proposed UOWD degree will focus on the Gulf and MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region and it is proposed that students in Dubai, will have an opportunity to take some classes in Wollongong, and vice versa further enriching the program.
The External Review Team of the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation is visiting UOWD from 20th-22nd March to evaluate the proposed program.