The United States has opened an education advisory service centre at its Consulate in Dubai as part of a new policy to attract more students from the region.
The US Education Advising Centre, known as EducationUSA, has been created to offer free information and services to teachers, administrators, counsellors, parents and students interested in studying at universities and colleges in the US.
Michael Corbin, US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates said that the US government is keen to attract more foreign students.
‘I’ve been in this region for a long time and watched us slowly build back our numbers of students going to the US from this region,’ he explained.
The US higher education drive comes at a time when both the US Embassy and Consulate in the UAE have witnessed an increase in student visa issuances.
Recent statistics show that the number of US visas applied for by UAE students at the Embassy and the Consulate General in the UAE have exceeded the pre-9/11 issuance levels. The 2008/2009 periods saw 1,200 Emirati students going to the US for higher education. In 2009/2010, some 35% more Emirati students, equivalent to more than 1,600 students, studied in the US compared with the previous year.
‘Our centres have become well known for the promotion of US higher education by offering accurate and objective information on educational institutions,’ said Justin Siberell, US Consul General.
The centre offers information on choosing a course, getting funding and scholarships, applying for a visa, transferring between courses and getting in touch with universities and colleges.
According to the Open Doors Annual Report on international students in the US, UAE students have diversified their college choices and are spread across 41 of the country’s 52 states.
The report also states that the most popular courses for UAE nationals studying in the US tend to be business and management, engineering and physical and life sciences.
The US has around 400 centres that are supported by the US Department of State to promote the benefits of studying in America. They offer advice on apply for courses and visas.