Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The University of Manchester today has held its eighth graduation celebration for Middle East students who recently graduated from the University’s part-time Master’s programmes. The graduation celebration, held at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, was attended by 72 graduating students (of 26 nationalities) and their families and friends. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General - Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA) was the guest of honour and addressed the new graduates. Professor Fiona Devine CBE, Dean of Alliance Manchester Business School, led the celebration and gave the keynote address on behalf of the University, noting the Middle East Centre’s 15th anniversary in 2021.

The Middle East Centre has graduated a total of 320 part-time Master’s students in 2020-21, since the start of the pandemic. Of the 72 new Master’s graduates attending the Dubai celebration, the vast majority graduated with Merit or Distinction; more than 50% reside in the UAE; around one third of these new graduates are female.

The University of Manchester opened its Middle East Centre at Dubai Knowledge Park in 2006 and, today, it is the largest and fastest growing of the University’s network of five centres around the world. The Middle East Centre has supported almost 3,000 part-time students in the region, and graduated close to 2,000.

Randa Bessiso, Director - Middle East, The University of Manchester, commented:

“The Middle East Centre was delighted to host the University of Manchester graduation celebration for students from the region at our first in-person graduation event for two years. Their achievement is even more impressive as they completed their programmes in the face of the global pandemic, which severely disrupted lives and work, and education. Students from the Middle East are top performers across the University’s international network and this is reflected again this year with the vast majority graduating with distinction or merit.

“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in Dubai, it is gratifying to see students graduate from across our growing portfolio of world class master’s programmes for working professionals. Graduation is one of the highlights of the academic year and on behalf of the team, I would like to thank all our supporters, partners, students and alumni for making this possible.”

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre provides access to a dynamic portfolio of part-time master’s programmes for working professionals, including the flagship Global Part-time MBA, Kelley-Manchester Global MBA, and specialist master’s programmes in Educational Leadership, Real Estate, and a new MSc Financial Management, which started in September 2021.

The Middle East has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising five hubs in key business cities around the world. It is also the most diverse, with students of over 100 nationalities. The Middle East Centre has supported almost 3,000 part-time MBA students based in the region and graduated more than 1,900 MBA students since opening in 2006.

The University of Manchester was named as the world’s 27th best university in the QS World University Rankings, sixth in the UK, and eighth in Europe. The University was named the most targeted institution by the UK’s top 100 graduate employers for the third year in a row by The Graduate Market in 2020. Manchester was also named the University of the Year for Graduate Employment by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.


About The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and is one of the UK’s largest single-site universities with more than 40,000 students on campus – including more than 10,000 international students. The University is consistently ranked among the world’s elite institutions for graduate employability and world-class research across a diverse range of fields including cancer, advanced materials, global inequalities, energy and industrial biotechnology. 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied at the University, which is the only UK University to have social responsibility among its core strategic objectives, dedicated to making a positive difference in communities around the world.

About The University of Manchester Middle East Centre

The University of Manchester’s Middle East Centre at Dubai Knowledge Park opened in 2006 and is the largest and fastest growing in the university’s international network comprising six hubs in the key business cities around the world. The Centre has supported close to 2,900 Manchester Global Part-time MBA students in the region, and graduated more than 1,900 MBA students. The Centre also works in regional collaborations with a range of industry groups, professional bodies and companies, and supports a regional alumni association with more than 4,500 members. 

Media contact: Jonathan Walsh, 

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