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What is EPFL Middle East?

In December of 2008, EPFL and the Government of Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) entered a pioneering partnership for the creation of an EPFL campus, offshore in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. This major effort underlines the vision and strategic priority of the United Arab Emirates to develop research and higher education, alongside its very dynamic, sustained and diversified economic development.

The new campus, a branch of EPFL, is a two-way bridge for graduate research and graduate education between Switzerland and the Middle East. The location offers a new field of research and an outpost for talent recruitment in the East. Developed under the name EPFL Middle East, the campus concentrates on major challenges for the 21st century, in selected topics underpinning sustainable development, notably:

The campus implies the creation of 5 research laboratories in the UAE, and their close collaboration with a corresponding number of laboratories on the Lausanne campus. It also opens opportunities for host laboratories to develop activities in partnership with EPFL Middle East. The recruitment of EPFL professors, already underway for the two sites, will likely be complete by the end of 2012.

The development of the laboratories in the UAE (in terms of people, equipment and projects) will reach its full swing in the next three years, with 5 laboratories, 250 people involved, of which about 100 students at the MSc and Phd levels, and an active research program, firmly anchored in the local economy through public and private collaborations. Graduate research projects are already underway or imminent, in all scientific areas highlighted above. They take the form of research projects conducted in Lausanne and in the UAE, such as PhD, Master and semester projects; they also include focus workshops for graduate students on topics relevant to the UAE and the wider MENA-Near-Asia region. All projects have a clear focus and practical application.

Where is EPFL Middle East located?

EPFL Middle East is located in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) is the fourth largest emirate of the UAE. Its name in English means The Top of the Tent. RAK is situated in the north of the UAE peninsula, and shares a border with Oman. It is approximately one hour (by road) north of Dubai.
The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. The city has a population of approximately 263,217. It is divided into two main sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, situated either side of a natural mangrove creek that divides the city.

What is the relationship between EFPL Middle East and EPFL Lausanne?

EPFL is one of the two Ecoles Polytechniques fédérales in Switzerland. Like its sister institution, ETHZ, it has three missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level. Associated with several specialised research institutes, the two EPFs form the EPF domain, which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Home Affairs.

EPFL, in its idyllic location on the shores of Lake Geneva, brings together a campus of more than 10,000 people. By its novel structure, the school stimulates collaboration between students, professors, researchers and entrepreneurs. These daily interactions give rise to new and groundbreaking work in science, technology and architecture.

The creation of an EPFL offshore campus in Ras Al Khaimah is the first of its kind for any Swiss public institution of higher education.

As a result EPFL Middle East is one of the few centers in the MENA and Asia region to focus on graduate and postgraduate research and education in science and engineering.

Our curriculum concentrates on the main challenges of this century, encompassing the cornerstones of sustainable development for tomorrow.

Graduate research and programs at the MSc and PhD levels are offered jointly in Lausanne and Ras Al Khaimah, providing a unique environment for a research-based graduate education.

At the heart of this experience lie high admission standards and uncompromising research excellence, leading to original EPFL degrees. Research projects and training programs are anchored in the academic structure of EPFL and in the laboratories in creation on the Ras Al Khaimah campus.

They draw from specific competences on both EPFL campuses, in what is a unique two-way bridge for graduate research and education between the Middle East and Switzerland.

Who attends EPFL Middle East?

The student body of EPFL Middle East is made up of diverse a national, linguistic, religious, and socioeconomic background. The student body is recruited from across the MENA Region, Asia and Europe.

In what language is academic work conducted?

English is the language of instruction at EPFL Middle East.

Can EPFL Middle East offer executive education on-site at my organisation?

Yes.  EPFL Middle East can organize and provide any of our executive short courses on-site if a company or Government Authority requests it.  Our executive courses combine internationally known experts with a multi-disciplinary approach in order to provide professionals of different sectors state-of-the-art training in their field of competence.

Our executive education offerings focus on the following five areas of expertise:

Short courses, alongside with graduate research projects conduct in partnership with companies, are part of our efforts to transfer technology and share experience between the academic and professional environment. Our instructors bring research and economic perspectives, in a stimulating and enriching multidisciplinary environment.

Participants are exposed to and share research results, new technologies, and compelling approaches they can apply in their own field of expertise. The experience in the courses goes beyond simply receiving instruction: participants engage and get to see their business world from different perspectives, engage with internationally known experts and learn from their multi-disciplinary experiences.