20 students from Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) recently had the opportunity to experience Dubai’s unique business environment during an entrepreneurship and innovation focused trip to the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai (RIT Dubai).
Students from BJTU’s Master of Science program in Entrepreneurship and Innovative Ventures, which is run in international partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) U.S-based Saunders College of Business, were joined by fellow students from the university’s International Business and MBA programs for the nine-day trip. The tour was the highlight of the Management of Innovation in Products and Services module, which BJTU students study via a pioneering online learning initiative from RIT.
Over the course of an action-packed schedule, the students learnt more about the UAE’s distinctive approach to business innovation with hands-on tours of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Headquarters, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtech) and New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi. They also had the opportunity to visit some of the UAE’s cultural gems including the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Dubai’s Souks, the Burj Khalifa, Global Village and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, along with face-to-face lectures from RIT academic Les Moore.
Commenting on the trip, Lecturer Mr Moore said: “The visit to RIT Dubai has really helped the BJTU students gain a deep understanding of the UAE’s policies and initiatives and how they foster innovation. I am a strong believer that students learn best when they are immersed in the business-world – not just through a text book. They have had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have access to some ground-breaking company incubators, innovation rooms and start-up companies.”
BJTU student Yueqi Ong added: “The UAE government have built a great framework for innovation – companies don’t develop randomly but are fostered under structures that aid their growth. It has been a brilliant educational experience and I will take many learnings from the trip with me.”
Student Xiangyu Wei agreed, saying: “The trip has combined a lot of things – both hands-on business experience and cultural opportunities. Visiting Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority’s business incubator was particularly impressive.”
RIT Dubai’s President, Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, concluded: “It was a pleasure to host students from BJTU during the inaugural enterprise and innovation field trip. Ongoing collaborations between RIT’s global campuses, here in Dubai and Europe and BJTU in China offer our students access to world-class thinking in business and engineering. I hope this trip will pave the way for further collaboration between RIT Dubai and BJTU as there is an excellent opportunity for our students and academics to work in tandem with our Chinese colleagues to jointly develop a deeper understanding of the world’s economy and global trade between some of the most dynamic markets in the world."