University of Birmingham Dubai appoints new Provost

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Professor David Sadler

The University of Birmingham Dubai has appointed Professor David Sadler as its new Provost – the University’s most senior academic leader in Dubai – as it progresses ambitious plans to establish itself at the heart of Higher Education in Dubai and the UAE.

The University of Birmingham Dubai has appointed Professor David Sadler as its new Provost – the University’s most senior academic leader in Dubai – as it progresses ambitious plans to establish itself at the heart of Higher Education in Dubai and the UAE.

A key appointment as the University moves towards opening its full campus in autumn next year, Professor Sadler takes over the leadership from current Provost Professor Glyn Watson on 1 September 2020.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Sadler said “I am looking forward to working with colleagues in Dubai and at the UK campus to develop the University of Birmingham Dubai still further from its strong start-up stage.

“The last few months have been particularly difficult for everybody, and there will undoubtedly be other new challenges ahead, but I am confident we will continue to make progress. I particularly look forward to meeting the students in Dubai, and to developing the campus as an all-round university experience.”

Professor Sadler has extensive experience working at a senior level in an international context. He served as Vice-President Academic Affairs at the Xi’an Jiaotong- Liverpool University’s (XJTLU) joint venture campus in China for four years, followed by a further four years as Vice-Principal International at Queen Mary, University of London – both members of the UK Russell Group of leading universities.

Whilst at XJTLU, Professor Sadler oversaw substantial growth in student numbers; enhanced the quality of education and developed a portfolio of research programmes. Student numbers increased from 2000 to 7000 and the number of academic departments doubled to 12, as XJTLU became the largest UK joint venture campus in China.

Welcoming the new appointment, University of Birmingham Vice Chancellor and Principal Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “Professor Sadler is a distinguished academic geographer and joins the University of Birmingham Dubai at a very exciting time following our accreditation as a Ministry of Education university and as we look forward to opening our landmark second phase campus next year.

“We are a global university with a civic outlook and committed to contributing to UAE society – as a leading provider of education and through our research strengths. Under Professor Sadler’s leadership, I am certain that our Dubai campus will continue going from strength to strength - providing an academic experience that allows our Dubai students to develop and grow, graduating as high-achieving and employable problem solvers.”

The University of Birmingham Dubai delivers the highest-quality education underpinned by a growing research focus in a leading global educational hub.

University of Birmingham Dubai Provost Professor Glyn Watson said: “I am hugely proud of all we have achieved in Dubai and would like to thank KHDA and the Ministry of Education for their unstinting support, without which the University of Birmingham Dubai would not be in the strong position we are today.”

The new campus will be home for up to 2,900 students with a total capacity of 4,500 - featuring innovative teaching and research space to encourage cross disciplinary working. There will be a focus on learning spaces incorporating digital technology.

Sustainability and accessibility will be incorporated into the new building, which will make the best use of space, environmental control, management information and security creating a vibrant space for teaching, research and engagement with communities.  

Notes to editors:

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  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries. It was established by Queen Victoria in 1900 as Great Britain’s first civic university, where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.
  • The University is renowned for its research excellence and its researchers have received 11 Nobel Prizes. From pioneering organ transplants, discovering gravitational waves and furthering understanding of Shakespeare, to developing cures for cancer, advances in robotics and revealing the structure of DNA, the University has been at the forefront of some of the most ground-breaking discoveries of the last 100 years.
  • Birmingham is acknowledged for producing globally employable graduates and was chosen as the Times and Sunday Times University of the Year for Graduate Employment 2016. The University is currently ranked sixth best in the UK by prospective employers.
  • The Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai. It supports schools, universities, parents, students, educators, investors and government partners to create a high quality education sector focused on happiness and wellbeing.