India’s Amity University has announced plans for a new campus and two schools for pre-university students in the UAE - one to open in Abu Dhabi in 2014; the other in Dubai by 2015.
Amity University was founded in 2003 in Uttar Pradesh and has eight campuses in India.
The new campus for Amity in Dubai will offer undergraduate and postgraduate science subjects in fields including aerospace engineering and nano, nuclear and bio-technologies as well as in forensic science.
“The new campus will have state-of-the-art laboratories so we can focus very much on research,” Atul Chauhan, the chancellor of Amity international told The National. “This is where we are different [from other branch campuses]. We are research focused."
Amity also cares for around 17 schools and pre-schools in India, but the $68.1m Abu Dhabi school in Al Bahya, near Yas Island, will be a first outside of India.
Vahajat Hussain, president of the Dubai university campus, told the National of “a real need for more schools [in Abu Dhabi.] There are many more residential areas being developed over there.”
Dr Ajit Nagpal, chairman of Amity Middle East, said the group was “diversifying, not limiting itself to higher education. It's an endowment and a commitment to the society.”
He added that Amity was also considering nurseries in the UAE.
Amity Abu Dhabi will have places for 3,000 pupils, with building expected to commence this year.
Abu Dhabi Education Council has said it needs about 100 new schools for the 146,000 pupils in the next seven years, including the children of government employees required to locate in the emirate.
Hussain added that it took a lot of explanation to students to point out that “in five years the UAE will have a nuclear plant”, and to make the career for the job market of five years' time, not just now."
Two UK educational institutions, the Cranleigh and Repton schools, are also set to open branches in the Emirates.
Repton, already in Dubai, is to open on Reem Island in September, while Cranleigh will open on Saadiyat Island in 2013.