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Taking education to virtual heights

Dubai International Academic City and Bayt.com collaborate for online education initiative

Taking education to virtual heights
Kazim sees potential in virtual fair.

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), in conjunction with Bayt.com, is set to host the region's first virtual education fair (VEF) between the 15th and 21st of November.

The web-based event allows students in the Middle East to interact in real-time with education providers and bilingual consultants through text, voice and video chat, and access information on specific programmes and degrees completely free of cost.

Announcing the initiative at GITEX Technology Week yesterday, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Executive Director at DIAC, said that VEF had all the benefits of a regular fair but does away "with the challenges faced by exhibitors and students in terms of cost and travel".

VEF will also see Bayt.com reach a niche target market that has the potential to contribute to the region's workforce. Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Akram Assaf, says that the arrangement will help "serve as a catalyst for developing tomorrow's leaders through access to training and higher education opportunities."

Both Arabic and English-speaking students will be able to get the most out of the virtual education fair.

"If you look to the application itself it has two components; there's the information, which is the crux of the solution, and there's the user interface. While the user interface might be predominantly English, the information itself will be very much available in both languages," adds Assaf. The Dubai International Academic City believes that the virtual event will attract a higher number of visitors in comparison to conventional fairs that are often restricted by geographical and financial factors, and offer the added advantage of accurately measuring success through the use of specific reporting tools.

Officials estimate that the Middle East's first virtual education fair will attract 20,000 unique visitors, but the potential exists to reach out to an even higher number of people given Bayt's regional presence.

Students can register for the virtual education fair and get further details of the six-day event by accessing the official website at www.vefme.com.

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