Experts: Strong growth fundamentals drive education sector

Dubai, 5th February, 2015 (WAM) — With growth drivers firmly in place, the education sector in the GCC region is on a steep growth curve, say industry experts.

Several studies have projected a healthy growth in the number of students enrolling in primary, secondary and tertiary education segments, along with a rise in the number of education institutions in the country and the region.

In fact, the 42.3 per cent increase in gross enrolment rates in the tertiary education segment in GCC is better than the world average of 30.1 per cent, reflecting the strength of the region’s higher education sector.

Besides, every year, GCC governments announce sizeable budgetary allocations as well as reforms to spur investment in the industry.

The upcoming 11th International Education Show, a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Education and Expo Centre Sharjah, supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), is all set to underscore this trend of increasing focus on the higher education in the country and the region. It will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from February 11 to 13, 2015.

The show will also take aantage of the fact that the UAE is the fourth most attractive education destination in the world for students looking to pursue their studies abroad.

“The International Education Show is entering its momentous 11th edition, growing with each edition and becoming a catalyst in the country’s ambitious higher education campaign to prepare its youth to achieve high in their life and contribute to the nation’s growth,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.

This year, the show will showcase nearly 120 exhibitors as against last year’s 108. And, for the third consecutive time, under the aegis of AFAIRS Exhibitions and Media, the concurrent Great India Education Fair will host 60 exhibitors from India, as against last year’s 42.

“Along with the education sector in the country and the region, the International Education Show too is seeing impressive growth. Building on the previous year’s growth, both IES and the Great India Education Fair will feature more exhibitors this time. Besides, we have also partnered with Al Haitham Exhibitions and Conferences Organizers to boost our international participation and National Qualification Authority joined their hands as Gold Sponsor of the show for the first time,” added Mr. Midfa.

According to recent reports, the number of students pursuing studies abroad continues to surge as higher education institutions around the world vie for the best and brightest minds. The Great India Education Fair aims to take aantage of the rising trend of students opting for emerging regional destinations that offer more affordable and culturally-relevant and career-oriented programmes of study.

“The Great India Education Fair will target students and parents known to view Indian education as a great pedestal for higher education and employment opportunities. The exhibition is the perfect platform to connect with Indian educational institutions directly,” said Mr. Sanjeev Bolia, Founder and Managing Director of Afairs Exhibitions and Media Pvt. Ltd.

Pointing out the rise in the number of UAE students entering India on student visas, he added, “It is obvious that UAE parents are very discerning when it comes to their children’s education. They send their children to India because they understand that apart from English language proficiency, the cost-benefit aantage an Indian education offers them is greater than several other countries.” The Great India Education Fair will showcase some of the premier Indian universities, colleges and higher education institutions, offering varied academic, professional and vocational programmes. ‘Spot counselling’ and ‘spot admission’ offers will be among the highlights.