IPSEF Middle East, Dubai 2014

IPSEF Middle East 2014

September 2014, Dubai

Thank you to everyone who participated in IPSEF in Dubai 2014

The whole event was a phenomenal success and we look forward to returning in 2015 A special thank you goes out to our sponsors, speakers, hosts, delegates and our local and virtual teams

A review of IPSEF Middle East, Dubai 2014

IPSEF returned to Dubai in 2014. Working closely with KHDA, IPSEF enhanced its first Dubai event in March 2012, by incorporating a series of visits to schools and other educational establishments. IPSEF aims as always were to provide educators, investors and governments from across the region with a comprehensive appraisal of the Dubai school market.

Programme themes included:

  • The regulatory framework in Dubai: the rationale behind it and how operators can engage with the KHDA (overseeing body) to set up in Dubai.
  • How do other regulators work in the region? Lets look at the differences and similaralities.
  • Regional projections and trends: the market context: schools, students, fees and teachers.
  • Case histories from schools: local school chains, private equity models, franchising operations, individual private schools.
  • A question of Curriculum: the options and choice and local requirements.
  • Project management: How to deliver your project on time and at cost.
  • Staff recruitment and CPD: in a competitive environment how to secure and retain talented, committed staff.
  • School design: the importance of school design in raising attainment levels.
  • The parents’ perspective: what parents consider when looking for a school.
  • Maintaining quality: the inspection regime, and the measures can schools take to ensure high quality education.
  • Why do schools feel confident in setting up in Dubai?

download the final programme

Sponsor Focus

Cambridge University Press

With new titles for Primary, Cambridge IGCSE® and Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge University Press International Education provide a range of teaching solutions. They also publish extensively for the IB Diploma, covering a wide range of subjects, including specialist resources for the Theory of Knowledge components.

Oxford University Press

An exciting new pedagogy for early Arabic reading has been researched by a team of experts. Forming the basis of a new set of banded readers published by Oxford University Press, this research presents the opportunity to teach young learners to read Arabic in a structured, challenging and engaging way.

Eteach International

Based in Dubai, UAE, Eteach International is the leading online education recruitment service. Combining extensive experience in education with exceptional technological expertise, it’s where teachers, school leaders and support staff look for the latest jobs and where recruiters attract the best employees. Eteach works with over 6,000 schools, academies and colleges in the UK and overseas.

D3 Consultants

D3 Consultants is an educational consultancy company based in Manama, Bahrain and operating on an international scale. D3 Consultants mission is to support, manage, and develop quality learning for a better future. At D3 Consultants, we provide state-of-the-art models and offer technical expertise in educational consultancy, school start-ups, evaluation, and school operation management to public, private, and school related businesses in the MENA region. D3 Consultants is invested in providing quality educational services to ensure that new and existing schools will be able to elevate their performance and reach their goals.

Meritorious Education Network

Meritorious Education Network after nearly a year of market and education research in Dubai and Sharjah, Meritorious is on the verge of opening its first training facility in the UAE: the MINDS Training Centre in Sharjah . This has been followed by the acquisition of two nurseries LITTLE HANDS KIDS CLUB (SOON TO BE BLESSINGS NURSERY) in Dubai, in the Knowledge Village and in Downtown. Already, considerable advancements have been made in the standard and quality of care and education in these nurseries, and we are looking forward to building on this to provide a British standard of pre-school care and education at an affordable price. Click here to read more about Meritorius

Day One - Programme

Conference Chair: Jonathan Hughes-D'Aeth, Headmaster, Repton School Dubai

9.30 Opening and Welcome by Keynote Speaker

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

10.00 The Changing Face of International Schools:historical growth, current overview and future prospects

This presentation will provide an analysis of the global international school market with a special focus on the Middle East (Western Asia).

The ISC Research online system (www.isc-r.com) has comprehensive data on more than 7,100 English-medium international schools and provides a wide range of analytical tools, access to current international school news and archives and information about school groups, school associations and international events.

Richard Gaskell, Director of International Schools, ISC Research Ltd

10.30 Pricing Regulation of K-12 Schools

We will discuss pricing regulations of the K-12 sector exploring how fees impact operators and investors as well as their importance in effecting school choice for parents. The session will specifically explore the impact of regulations on the sector in Dubai and present case studies of best practice fee regulation from Parthenon’s work in over 50 cities globally. The session will also explain how different fee regulations could affect the sector in Dubai and the greater region.

Ashwin Assomull, Partner, The Parthenon Group

11.00 Refreshment Break

11.25 Regulatory & Licensing Processes – A Key Element To Successfully Setting Up A New School

Setting up a new school in the region requires navigating the regulatory and investment landscapes; which tend to be interdependent. This presentation will:

Outline the steps required to navigate the regulatory landscape taking into account investor interests

Highlight the key bodies the school developer must consult in order to successfully set up a new school

Sajida Hassan Shroff, Managing Director, Altamont Group (Education Advisory & Corporate Finance)

11.55 Over a Decade Investing in Education: From Early Years to Higher Education

This presenter will talk about the companies investments in the education sector over the past 10 years and how they have helped these organisations to expand organically and made acquisitions in several regions.

Jose Rodriguez, Director, Sovereign Capital

12.25 Q&A

12.35 Lunch & Networking

Project Management and School Design

How to deliver your project on time and on budget

1.30 Bringing school interiors to the forefront of the UAE school design process

Spacezero provide world class interior designs for Schools, Colleges and Universities.They are cutting edge in the full BIM delivery of interiors and FFE which is true innovation which leads to a higher quality design output and lower overall costs.This includes full M&E, architecture and structures integration with interiors into the BM model.

Wayne Taylor, Managing Director, Spacezero

2.10 The Importance of School and Campus Design - Lessons Learned for Second or Multiple Campuses

Setting up a new school in Dubai

Have a passion for educating young minds

Write such an academic plan in keeping with all the requirements of the KHDA, so as to set up a school with International standards

Set up a school with a difference:

  • Where children will play and learn
  • Where thinking will be made visible
  • Where children will be allowed to bloom with a team of teachers who will nurture them
  • Where the young minds will not be stifled but allowed to discover for themselves
  • A school where the student, teacher and parent will work together
  • Set up a school with the state of the art infrastructure, concentrating on one or two special features on offer, like:
  • A specially designed language lab to enhance listening and speaking skills in Arabic, French, Hindi and English
  • A state of the art library
  • Learning centres
  • A free will learning programme

Richard Monteiro, Principal, Bilva Indian School, Al Qusais, Dubai

2.30 Sleep walking into a recruitment crisis

The issue of quality staff will exercise all International schools. However, the proliferation of new British curriculum schools being set up around the world is making things that much harder. How will we cope in 2016, when the numbers required will be even greater?

Ian Hunt, Managing Director, Gabbitas Education

2.50 Refreshment Break

How to Develop a Successful School or Group of Schools:

3.10 A case history presentation on Saudi Private K-12 education

Bernard West, Executive Director, Tadrees Holdings

3.30 The Development of a C21 Educational Technology Platform

The presenter will take you on a journey of the development of a technology platform for the students in a new IB Candidate school in the Northern Emirate of Ajman. It highlights the need for education to provide a more individualised learning experience for our future learners and leaders. During the presentation, the speaker will engage the audience in how their specific technology model was used and why.

Anthony Cashin, Director, Ajman Academy

3.50 Embracing technology to transform Education!

Education has evolved over the millennia, but in no period has it changed as much as it has in the past half-century. Propelled by the rise of the modern knowledge-based economy and rapid increases in the pace of technological advancement, education has become an egalitarian pillar of society, far more so than in the past. My talk will revolve around how schools can embrace technology to transform almost every aspect of a child’s learning and development experience based on global case studies and my own insights and observations as an educator, soft skills, technology expert and innovator. I will present to you the “NEW CLASSROOM” where teachers, parents and students all interact in different planes, where carrying heavy bags will be a thing of the past, where manually prepared reports and testing processes will be replaced by swipes and gestures, and where writing will be a skill to be taught then a necessity to survive, completely in line with the world we function in, rather than the past that we as educators, or our parents grew up in. I will quote “real life” examples of the same across the world and propose methods, tools and a framework where education is in-step with technology, than otherwise.

Imran O Kazmi, Strategist, Meritorious Education Network FZ-LLC

4.10 New School, New Jurisdiction, New Relationships with Stakeholders and Regulators.. Through the Looking Glass at a Group of Successful Schools

Nord Anglia Education was established in 1972 and has grown to be a global family of 29 international schools, providing outstanding education to over 18,500 students from preschool through to the end of secondary education.

This talk will give a brief look at building a new school or acquiring a school in a new jurisdiction and working with regulators in a new market.

An insight into the different regulatory bodies of education around the world and the importance of getting to know your regulator. A discussion on the differences in regulation of fees, commercials and the running and operations of an International school in some of the markets we work in.

Robert Walls, Regional Finance Director Middle East and Southeast Asia, Nord Anglia Education

4.30 KEYNOTE: How to develop international schools in an ever-changing market place- an interview with: Rosamund Marshall, CEO, Taaleem

5.00 Q&A and Conference Review

5.10 Conference Close & Networking Reception

Day Two - Programme

Conference Chair: Jonathan Hughes-D'Aeth, Headmaster, Repton School Dubai

9.00 Opening Keynote and welcome speaker:

Borderless Higher Education and Student Mobility: Case of Dubai International Academic City

Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City Education Cluster, TECOM Investments

Update Bulletin on Growth and trends In HE and FE

9.30 The Road to Higher Education: Trends in International Student Mobility

One of the primary reasons parents enroll their children in top international and private schools is to smooth their entry into higher education.At the same time, university leaders increasingly view attracting a diverse population of qualified international students as a priority.

This session will provide an update on recent trends in international student mobility, with a focus on countries in the Middle East as well as others around the world with growing numbers of students aspiring to international postsecondary opportunities.We will examine patterns in student search behavior and preferences, academic performance, score sends, applications, and enrollment.

The College Board is a not-for-profit organization that connects students to university success and opportunity. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students in 180 countries prepare for a successful transition to university through programs and services in college readiness, including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program.

Brian Hartman, Director, International K-12 Initiatives, The College Board

9.50 Higher Education: Understanding Growth Drivers, Potential Outlook and Future Trends in the GCC

Higher education continues to grow across the GCC. This session will explore the macro-economic drivers of this growth across the region looking at where the increase in demand is coming from and how it is expected to continue. It will also capture the current market supply with data on differences among the various offerings.

This presentation will also include data on the most successful business models in the region and what lessons can be learned from their success. Parthenon will also provide new analysis on potential trends in the sector with a deeper look at how international student recruitment is becoming more critical and how institutions can best benefit from the region’s increasing appeal.

Based on Parthenon’s work in over 80 countries, the presentation will contextualize the sector in terms of the overall international outlook and how changes in both K-12 and Higher Ed in other regions could impact the sector in the GCC.

Danish Kamal Faruqui, Senior Principal, International Education Practice, The Parthenon Group

10.10 The Demand for British Schooling in the UAE; Key Challenges and Opportunities for British School Operators to expand their Operations in the UAE

UAE being a truly cosmopolitan society offers variety of options in case curriculum offered in various schools in the UAE. British Curriculum is one of top three curriculum offered in the UAE not only due to large presence of British Nationals in the UAE but also favoured by number of other nationalities, such as, Indian, Pakistani and number of nationals from different Arab Countries and Common Wealth Countries, either due to historical ties with the United Kingdom or parents would like to send their children to United Kingdom for higher education.

In the recent past number leading operators opened their campuses in the UAE, including Brighton College School, Cranleigh School, Repton School, while Kent College Canterbury School and few other leading schools are planning to open their campuses in the UAE in the near future.

Colliers International has assisted / assisting number of British Operators to expand their operations in the UAE, the presentation by Mansoor Ahmed, Director Colliers International (MENA Region) for Healthcare, Education and PPP, will highlight the demand for British Schooling in the UAE and key challenges and opportunities for British School Operators to expand their Operations in the UAE.

Mansoor Ahmed MAS, MSc, Director, Development Solutions, Healthcare, Education, Public Private Partnership (PPP), Valuation & Advisory Services, Colliers International

10.30 An introductory presentation covering educational initiatives of the Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend Family Foundation (RVVZ Foundation)

RVVZ is uniting people with a shared dream, vision and values. The Foundation brings together Ruben Vardanian’s and Veronika Zonabend’s family, friends and partners, creating a community of like-minded people.

By working with its partners, RVVZ foundation invests in and implements projects that might have once seemed impossible. The flagship projects in education field are Skolkovo Moscow school of Management (capital expenditures: $250 Million) and UWC Dilijan College (total funding: $390 Million).

David Zokhrabyan, Ambassador, RVVZ Foundation

The student recruitment platform and the possibilities of its application in other schools to attract students from Russia and the region

United World Colleges are located in 14 different countries and recruit students from 137 countries every year. Daria runs the selection process for UWC in Russia, Armenia and Georgia. This system allows to select future students from the region to attend schools in different parts of the world. The three-stage selection process engaging local and international experts allows to build highly transparent need-blind admission process.

Daria Brodnikovskaya, RVVZ Foundation; Director of UWC development and candidate selection in Russia, Armenia and Georgia

10.50 Refreshment Break

11.20 What are the current trends in course structure and subjects?

Panel session with moderator: Prof Raed Awamleh, Professor of Management at Middlesex University Dubai

Speakers include:

A question of Curriculum: The Russian Perspective
In a recent study done by Pearson Education and published by the BBC, the Russian curriculum took a very strong 8th position in Europe and 13th in the World. That is a very positive fact, given that very little is known globally about it, compared to its US and British counterparts. We here at Synergy are striving to put Russia back on the world map of education. Russian curriculum incorporates decades of academic achievements ranging from literature to business to high-technologies, just to name a few and we are proud to deliver it in the most “internationally coloured” education hub in the world – Dubai.
Zaid Maleh, Vice Chancellor International, Synergy University

The Future of Education
The dynamic changes across the world are having an unprecedented impact on education. The future of education is being shaped by current and emerging technologies that are drastically changing the way in which learning and teaching are experienced.

Education is increasingly becoming individualised, customised and more accessible as a result of combining open source technology, the Internet, mobile and multi-faceted technology, virtual learning environments and learning analytic technology.

This presentation will reflect on the innovation and the complexities that are currently emerging in education as a result of these technological advancements and social changes. Building on these factors the presentation will examine why these technologies and sociographics are changing the landscape of education and how educational institutions can prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.
Professor Christopher Abraham, Head - Dubai Campus, Sr Vice President - Institutional Development, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior - S P Jain School of Global Management

Degrees for the here and now: How universities are redesigning courses to meet the needs of today's students
As higher education is more widely available to a growing number of students, universities are having to adapt and respond to the needs of a more diversified student body. This has led to a decline in the more traditional or purely 'academic' subjects, such as philosophy, in many universities. Instead, there is an increase in demand for subjects which more readily lead to a specific profession or career, such as finance and law. This is particularly evident in Dubai where competition for jobs is fierce. In addition, there is an increased demand from both students and employers for courses which include some kind of work placement or internship, and which include a focus on 'soft skills'. This has led to some restructuring of courses to include assessment around work experience.

This talk will present a brief summary of the kind of curriculum design we currently see developing in universities in response to the growing emphasis on employability and career development.
Dr Lois Smith, Acting Director, Middlesex University Dubai

12.20 The Impact of IB on a School Community

The aim of the presentation titled "The impact of IB on a school community" is to present an idea of what the journey of a school is like when adopting and implementing one or more of the four IB programmes. The presentation will focus on the growth and improvement experienced by the school through the implementation of the standards and practices.

The presentation will explore how the IB programmes impact schools through its mission to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

The information provided during the session will focus on the potential impact of the IB on:

  • Standards & Practices
  • learners
  • approach to teaching and learning

Dina Khalaf, Regional Development Consultant (Middle East), International Baccalaureate

Session introduced by: Greg Watson, Chief Executive, GL Education

12.40 Imagination Goes to School, or How to Educate Children at a Time of Rapid Social, Political, and Technological Change

School children today will come of age in a rapidly changing world. As adults, many of us know that the education we received decades ago did not focus on the highly adaptive skill-set necessary to develop our full potential for working and living in the digital age. But educational systems tend to change slowly. What are the themes and mindsets that are most important to develop in our schools and in our students so that they will be the life-long learners who can be the leaders and innovators in the heart of the 21st century? How can educators and schools reform our programs and our practices to embrace creative inquiry while maintaining challenging academic environments? How can we respond to the clarion call from employers and policy-makers to educate a new generation of citizens who are technologically fluent problem-solvers and innovators?
Thomas B Farquhar, Head of School, GEMS Nations Academy

1.00 Q&A

1.10-2.10 Lunch and Networking

Evaluation and Inclusion - Reputation Management:

2.10 Personalised Learning for Success

Allen Bird is the recently appointed Director of Education for Fortes Education. He believes in the delivery of high quality, personalised learning to help students achieve academic and individual success.

He will share his vision for putting data at the heart of a school’s approach to teaching and learning.

Having been in at the launch of a new academy, Allen has faced the challenge of building an assessment strategy from scratch - setting a baseline, tracking progress in order to demonstrate the 'value added', engaging with stakeholders and satisfying the demands of the inspection authorities.

He is a vocal advocate for the use of a wide range of assessments to build up a complete picture of each student and in the dissemination of this information to where it is most powerful -the teachers, parents and the students themselves.
Allen Bird, Director of Education, Fortes Education

2.40 Valuable Lessons Learnt

The sharing of information pertinent to the establishment of schools in the Gulf covering important issues impacting on the licensing, design, construction and development and operation of schools in the region.
Mark Atkins, Head of Academics and Education, Evolvance; Chief Operating Officer, Repton International Schools UK; and Headmaster, Foremarke Dubai

3.00 Setting Up Private Sector Early Years Provision

Mariam M. Al -Kassab, Founder/ Managing Director, Kidz Venture Early Learning Centre

3.20 Q&A

3.30 Refreshment Break

Recruitment Focus: Chaired by Neil Ollier, Director of Business Development/ MENA Region, Edvectus Ltd

4.00 Staffing Squeeze: How Changes in Policy and Economics have Affected Overseas Teacher Supply

Industry experts tell us that the number of staff working in international schools by 2020 will need to more than quadruple the number that existed in 2000 and the MENA region is growing faster than other parts of the world. With the growing significance of international schools, many governments in the MENA region are putting in place quality standards for teachers, however, some of these policies are causing the teacher shortage to become more acute as they are at odds with shifting demographics and teacher training initiatives abroad. In this presentation I will review government teacher training policies, demographics and teacher supply trends from the main western teacher markets: US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland, and discuss how it may affect the thriving MENA international school market within the coming years.
Neil Ollier, Director of Business Development/ MENA Region, Edvectus Ltd

4.20 Recruiting and Retaining High Quality Staff- Leveraging Internal expertise

This workshop will discuss issues related to recruiting high quality staff in the international sector and what structures, systems and PD programmes organisations and schools might put in place to build capacity and sustain improvement.
Stephen Cox, Chief Academic Officer, Fanar Education Management Company (FEMCO)

4.40 Dubai as an International Education Hub: Recruitment, Teacher Training, New Schools, and International Consultancy

The challenges and opportunities likely to arise for international education providers based in Dubai. Drawing on experience of recruiting for a wide range of teaching positions throughout the region, Matthew will highlight key concerns over traditional recruitment approaches, as well as pointing to effective models for good practice. Issues of teacher retention will examined, and potential solutions explored. He will also address a range of common challenges facing educational providers, particularly in schools catering to Emirati nationals, and a range of school improvement approaches that can offset these. Finally, he will discuss the growing significance of Dubai as an international hub for school start-ups throughout the world, and a wide range of international projects, including development projects in the Indian subcontinent and sub-Saharan Africa.
Matthew Goldie–Scot, Director, Carfax Educational Projects

Promoting Excellence in Private Tutoring
Alexander Nikitich is the founder of the international Carfax Education Group. He played a leading role in establishing The Tutors' Association. The Tutors' Association is an industry-led initiative which seeks to achieve professional recognition for private tutors and to promote best practice in tutoring. Drawing on his experience of establishing Carfax Private Tutors, an agency which operates throughout the world, Alexander will speak on the significance of Private tutoring within the United Arab Emirates, and the need for a professional body for the industry within Dubai and the wider region.
Alexander Nikitich, Founder, Carfax Education Group

5.00 Q&A

5.05 Summary & Overview

5.10 Conference Close

Day Three - School Visits (optional)

Uptown School

Foremarke School

Amity University - part of a global education group with over 2 decades of excellence

Established more than twenty years ago, the Amity Education Group is a leading education group today, offering globally benchmarked education right from pre-schools to Ph.D. level. With 100,000 students worldwide, Amity’s fast expanding network of globally benchmarked institutions has resulted in campuses across Dubai, London, Singapore, New York, California, Mauritius, China and Romania with further plans of establishing campuses in 25 countries.

Based out of the Dubai International Academic (DIAC), Amity University Dubai offers a truly global education experience with top faculty and students from over 35 different nationalities.

The students of Amity Dubai are awarded UGC recognized degrees which are accepted internationally. The degrees are also recognized by Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Government of Dubai.

Amity University Dubai Campus offers 28 career focused programs at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels in diverse disciplines of higher education. Besides the conventional programs like Engineering, Management, Hospitality, Architecture, Interior Design etc., the University also offers new age programs like Nanotechnology, Aerospace Engineering, Nuclear Science and Forensic Science.

AMITY’s NEW CAMPUS - Amity’s state of the art Campus planned for 2015 spanning an area of 700,000 sq. ft will be an iconic, vibrant and forward-looking global institution attracting the best and brightest students and faculty. It will have world class infrastructure and the finest student life amenities.