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Investing in private education organisations as well as cooperating with them on new regulations will facilitate the growth of quality education in the MENA region.

That is the message that has been delivered by senior representatives at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and international education experts to regional education professionals on the opening day of EdEx MENA.

Andrew Scott, Vice-President of International Schools and global education company Cognition Education addressed experts at the two-day conference, running until 23 November at the Conrad Hotel Dubai, and highlighted the need for investment to support a growing industry.

Scott said: “Education is an area where investment is vital to support growth and establish a society that is globally competitive. The governments of the region need to support the growth of new operators in establishing or supporting schools creating a competitive environment where quality is the key outcome.

“Improving the regulatory environments will enable greater quality, more efficient, affordable education provision, and create transparent structures to support outside organisations to bring professional development to the region and improve teaching quality.”

Underlining key opportunities for governments and regulatory bodies to cooperate, Kalthoom Al Balooshi, Director of Institutional Development at the KHDA discussed the different approaches to improve the delivery of education in the region.

Al Balooshi said: “As the regulatory body, the KHDA attends events such as EdEx to contribute to the platform where investors, operators, individuals, corporates and companies can interact in a transparent way to understand the market and the opportunities that will be available in the future. This will help them better contribute to the education landscape in Dubai.

“Our advice for anyone coming into the market, whether they are an operator, investor or want to partner with investors, is to find a partner that is in it for the quality of the education. With quality you will see a return on investment.  Investors need to have a long-term commitment and realise that the payoff investing in education isn’t immediate.”

She added: “The critical point to take into consideration is when a partnership is undertaken, they must have an open communication with the regulatory body from day one in order for both parties to have full understanding of the requirements and make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.”

Focusing on facilitating business development and partnership opportunities within the regional private education industry, EdEx MENA hosts four targeted conferences, and provides a key networking platform for decision makers.

Running in tandem, the Education Investment MENA, Higher Education MENA, Future Education Spaces MENA and K-12 Leaders Forum conferences address the latest developments in their respective sectors, and highlight the necessary steps governments and organisations can take to improve education systems and approaches to teaching.

Each of the conferences will feature industry insights from industry experts such as: Dr Warren Fox, Executive Director – Higher Education, KHDA; Sandrine Cardinale, Director – EMEA, Steelcase Education Solutions; James Neill, International Director, GL Education and Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Director General, KHDA.

Delegates have access to conferences led by senior representatives from entities involved in the regulation, financing, equipping and improvement of private education delivery systems in emerging markets.

From Kindergarten through to K-12, Higher and Vocational programmes, attendees of the show are benefiting from workshops focused on a range of challenges faced by different sectors in the private education industry.

EdEx MENA is held in partnership with platinum sponsor HumanSoft and gold sponsors GL Education, LWIS Network, Web of Science, Steelcase Education, Parthenon-EY, Laureate Vocational Saudi Arabia, SABIS and Ryan International Group of Institutions.