University of Wollongong in Dubai becomes the first UAE university to offer the NCUK International Foundation Year.

  • Students can opt for International Foundation Year in Dubai before travelling abroad to one of NCUK’s partner universities.
  • Guaranteed placement on one of 4,000 degrees at over 40 universities across 13 countries.
  • Program to officially begin on 9th January, 2022.

Dubai, UAE: University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), the first international university and the highest-ranked Australian university in the UAE, has become the first university in the UAE to partner with NCUK, a leading university consortium.  This partnership will offer students the opportunity to study an internationally recognised foundation course in Dubai and receive a guaranteed placement before travelling abroad to study for a bachelor degree at a leading university in their chosen country.

The International Foundation Year (IFY) gives students access to over 4,000 degrees across more than 40 leading universities internationally. Since forming in 1987, NCUK, an education entity dedicated to giving students guaranteed access to universities worldwide, has supported over 35,000 international students to attend universities globally.

One of the many benefits offered by the program is that students who do not qualify for direct entry into bachelor degrees abroad, can study in Dubai for one year, before travelling to any NCUK partner university in countries including Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand and Canada.  Students will be able to study degrees from fields including; Business, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science and Medicine.  In addition to this, students who decide to continue their studies in the UAE will also be able to complete their bachelor degrees at UOWD.

Commenting on the partnership, Professor Mohamed Salem, President of UOWD, said: “The launch of the International Foundation Year is a critical part of our plans to cement UOWD as an education hub for the UAE, and continue our efforts to provide a truly borderless education experience built on a strong foundation of quality and accessibility. We strive to support our students to flourish through the International Foundation Year in Dubai before travelling abroad to take up a guaranteed placement at one of over 40 partner universities around the world.”

Andy Straughan, Associate Director, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Americas for NCUK, commented: “Partnering with UOWD is an exciting extension to the significant growth and demand NCUK has undergone across the MENA region over recent years. In UOWD, a highly experienced and long-established tertiary institution within UAE, we are extremely confident that students from across the region will have an unrivalled opportunity to study a world-class qualification within a world-class teaching environment, with outstanding faculty. There is huge potential for this partnership to benefit many students and grow into a crucial strategic partnership for NCUK and our university network in the years to come and a huge thank you to all colleagues involved. Welcome to the NCUK Study Centre network.”

Dr. Debra McDermott, Director of UOWD College, said: “Through the International Foundation Year, we offer a wide range of opportunities for students to study abroad at leading international universities. Students will have the certainty of knowing that they have passed the foundation program before travelling overseas for higher education. There will be less anxiety for students and parents as they will be able to plan for their bachelor degrees, knowing they have already successfully completed the program.”

The move aims to cater to those in Dubai’s 85% expat population who aspire to travel abroad for higher education. The UAE education sector has the largest number of international private schools, with Dubai alone comprising over 200 K12 private schools from 17 different curricula, that predominantly feature expat children, providing pathways for UAE-based students looking to travel abroad for higher education.

The IFY typically takes 9 months to complete and students take four subjects which will prepare them with the foundational knowledge required for their undergraduate studies, in addition to providing students with the necessary academic requirements for visa purposes.

The eligibility for IFY includes students to be least 17 years old, have completed 12 years of high school education, and have a recognised English language qualification such as IELTS 5.0.

Students will have the chance to also study in a multi-cultural, learning environment at the newly launched 200,000-square-foot ‘Campus of the Future’, an innovative and purpose-built campus designed to teach students with a modern, blended curriculum that provides state-of-the-art technological infrastructure for the UOWD community.

About University of Wollongong in Dubai:

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is the first international university in the UAE and the premier Australian university in the region. Established in 1993 by the University of Wollongong Australia, UOWD is accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the UAE Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and is licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

UOWD is the highest ranked Australian university in the UAE – its curriculum and teaching practices reflect those of UOW Australia, which ranks among the top 1% of universities worldwide. Offering over 40 higher education programmes across 10 industry sectors, the university has over 3,500 students from 108 nationalities and a global community of 152,000 alumni.

As part of its continued pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, industry engagement and student experience, UOWD inaugurated its new purpose-built 200,000-square-foot campus at Dubai Knowledge Park in 2020. Featuring cutting-edge technologies, modern architecture, and a mix of traditional and innovative learning spaces, the campus provides an enriched experience to meet the demands of today’s student population, while supporting the teaching staff and community research projects.