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September 5, 2022

The Demand For Online University Education Is On The Rise

Dubai Magazine

Lower costs and shorter time and effort.

That’s why thousands of students in the Arab world, especially in the Arab Gulf region, are joining universities that have launched online education programs. Although the experience is recent and began to mature after the coronavirus pandemic, online education is now attracting more and more students around the world.

In this field, there are many international universities that are moving towards e-learning, such as Columbia University in America, University of Sydney in Australia, and University of Edinburgh in Scotland. And other major universities are going online because of its prospects for expanding university education and the possibility of students learning from around the world without the trouble of traveling or obtaining a travel visa, which helps students to obtain a university degree from such international universities.

Saudi student Jaber Ali explains the experience of learning online: “I live in the city of Mecca and work as a pastry and bakery chef, and because of the financial circumstances, I could not complete my university studies. However, I joined the American-based University of the People, where I can work and study, which helps me in my professional and scientific development. Since my work requires a lot of learning, I find the specialization of business administration perfectly suitable with the nature of my work. This university facilitates study, especially for those who work and do not find enough time to study in person and allows you to study at the times of your choice.”

University education costs are rising, and at the same time, commercial and industrial interests need many academically qualified cadres, and this can be seen in the job search platforms scattered on the network. It is noteworthy that international and even Arab companies see online degrees from prestigious, well-known and recognized universities that do not differ from those obtained by students who rely on traditional face-to-face education.

Pascaline Servan-Schreiber, Chair of the University of the People’s Board of Trustees, explains the goal of distance education, “There is a huge demand for online university degrees because of the quality of education that is commensurate with the needs of the current market. A number of students are working while studying, are well aware of the requirements of the workplace and see the degrees they are studying as having an important role in promoting their career development. Especially since the university offers high quality accredited and recognized American degrees. It also provides students with maximum flexibility to continue their studies regardless of their personal situation such as working or being a parent. They can study anytime and anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.”

Thousands of Arab students

For example, the number of Arab students studying business administration in Arabic is about seventeen thousand students from different Arab countries at the University of the People. As for the total number of students of different nationalities, it amounts to one hundred and twenty-five thousand students in several disciplines within the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a large number of them have graduated and are now working in much better jobs in terms of professional degrees as a result of obtaining an American university degree and engaging in the global labor market, which is also beginning to attract Senior staff working remotely.

University student Musa Jibreen believes that the university should also help students find job opportunities, not just academic education, because these universities have connections with major companies. He says, “Online education is the way of the future, with the development of technology, more students will be able to access the kind of information that It can greatly enhance their chances of finding work and possibly even changing the world. To help current students and alumni find their ideal careers, the University of the People has expanded its Career Service Center. The University of the People supports students from all over the world in obtaining their degrees and finding their ideal job after graduation which is beneficial to managing and developing my career. Strengthening professional bonds, expanding one’s business knowledge, sharing knowledge, experiences, and business possibilities are all advantages of networking.”

Gulf women and distance education

Online university education may also be useful for Gulf and Arab women, as if their circumstances do not allow for university studies, they can now enroll while they are at home or at work. This style helps women who marry early and have accumulated responsibilities for home, family and children. In addition, men or women who have advanced in age and are in their thirties and forties still have the real opportunity to complete university studies, and this can improve their working conditions or complete academic studies in higher degrees.

Many Arab universities have become aware of the importance of distance education and that it will occupy a place in academic life as long as there is a development of curricula and the provision of an electronic library where references and studies are spread in several languages. The speed of the pulse of technology in the age of speed will also affect education as an integrated system. Education will not be static and backward, while tools are evolving, and the market demands more graduates in various disciplines.

This is a translated version of the original story first published in Dubai Magazine

University of the People