How universities in the GCC are navigating the AI wave

While universities are integrating AI into multi-disciplinary courses, many are fostering greater industry partnerships to co-opt programmes and enhance research

Higher education institutions across the GCC are fast adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and making it an integral part of their curriculum amidst a surge in demand for courses offering AI. 

One of the notable advancements is the incorporation of AI as a core component of the curriculum. Universities are offering AI instruction across disciplines, including computer science, engineering, business, healthcare and humanities.  

Another growing trend is a surge in open university and online programmes, with AI as the core subject.  

Fehmida Hussain, Head of Computer Engineering and Informatics, Middlesex University Dubai notes that there is a surge in degree programmes specialising in this field, especially those with the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as part of degree titles, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.   

The institutions are encouraging an interdisciplinary approach, allowing students to apply AI techniques to solve real-world problems in diverse fields. Universities have established dedicated AI research centres and labs that collaborate with industry partners, providing students with opportunities to work on practical AI projects to gain hands-on experience on the latest AI developments. In addition, courses on AI ethics, fairness, transparency and responsible AI have also become an integral part of curriculums.  

Dr. Richa Arora, Head of Institution And COO, University of Stirling RAK Campus says AI is no longer an isolated field but an integral part of education across diverse sectors.  

“Universities have introduced AI courses and programmes, recognising that AI is no longer confined to computer science departments. AI is now considered a fundamental skill relevant across various disciplines. It’s common to find AI courses as core requirements in computer science and engineering programmes but also as elective options in business, healthcare and the humanities,” she says.  

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