Dubai Healthcare City signs academic partnership with Queen’s University Belfast
Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), the world’s largest healthcare free zone, and Queen’s University Belfast, one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, today announced their partnership to develop the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS) and its College of Medicine.
As per the agreement, signed on the sidelines of Arab Health 2015, Queen’s University Belfast will assist in the development of the MBR-UMHS and the College of Medicine, including curriculum development, recruitment and selection of staff, and student selection and admissions. The UK-based institution has significant academic and professional expertise in all aspects of university management, governance and administration.
The College of Medicine is expected to open for applications in September 2015 with the first cohort of medical students to be welcomed in September 2016.
Leading up to the launch, Dubai Healthcare City and Queen’s University Belfast will focus on course development, recruitment of high quality academic and professional service staff and the provision of the necessary infrastructure.
The MBR-UMHS has the College of Dental Medicine, which is already operational. The College offers six postgraduate programmes, accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), in collaboration with the UK-based Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSE); it has 53 residents.
Dubai Healthcare City will work closely with Queen’s University Belfast to devise and implement a strategy that addresses the healthcare education, training and research needs of Dubai and other regional communities.
Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said, “The current healthcare demands in the UAE and the region are unprecedented, and provision of quality medical education is a key part to meet these needs. Our partnership with Queen’s University Belfast provides an opportunity to expand access to medical education and reach the desired solutions. We are confident that our joint role will extend its reach beyond the campus of the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.”
Marwan Abedin, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Healthcare City, said: “The Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences’ objective is to advance healthcare in the UAE by developing human capacity, graduating medical professionals to the highest level of skills and expertise and fostering world-class research. The strategic partnership with Queen’s University will help deliver on our mission.”
Professor Patrick Johnston, President and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast, said: “I am both delighted and excited about today’s announcement, in which Queen’s University Belfast will partner Dubai Healthcare City to develop the new University [Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences], including the College of Medicine. We see this as part of a long-term partnership and collaboration in education and research, with mutually beneficial outcomes for both partners.
“It is an extremely important project, where our longstanding experience in this field will make a major contribution, as an international partner, to deliver a project that addresses the healthcare education, training and research needs of Dubai and other regional communities.”
Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Managing Director – Education, Dubai Healthcare City, said: “With the target opening in mind, we will be working closely with Queen’s University Belfast to develop a detailed project plan to achieve our goals and maintain momentum ahead of the first intake of students in September 2016. This project timeline will detail the key faculty appointments and critical stages in student recruitment and curriculum planning and delivery.”
James O’Kane, Queen’s University’s Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, and Project Lead said: “Queen’s University very much welcomes the opportunity to establish a partnership with Dubai Healthcare City to develop and launch the new University of Medicine and Health Sciences. This partnership will be based on the provision of expert advice and guidance on a comprehensive range of academic, professional and governance matters relating to the development of the new University. It will also have a particular focus in providing advice to develop a world-class education and research programme in the College of Medicine.”
Professor Graham McGeown, Queen’s University’s Deputy Head of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences and Academic Lead said: “The agreed model supports a long-term partnership across education and research in the health sciences. As international partner, Queen’s will advise on and facilitate the development of capability and building of capacity, and act as an advocate for the MD programme.”
While in Dubai to support Northern Ireland companies at Arab Health, Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment said: “The promotion of the quality of Northern Ireland’s higher education capability is high on the agenda of the Northern Ireland Executive’s strategy and through our growing links developed by Invest Northern Ireland’s local team in Dubai, with the United Arab Emirates, I am delighted that Queen’s has been chosen as a partner for Dubai’s new Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. This relationship emerged from a visit to Northern Ireland by Dubai Businesswomen’s Council last May. I’m especially pleased that we have been able to make this announcement while I’m here at Arab Health where so many innovative Northern Ireland companies are exhibiting.”