I flew back into Dubai yesterday morning. I was en-route to Abu Dhabi and this month’s Abu Dhabi Police Project Board Meeting. Although this meant the 4th weekend on the trot that I have been away from home, I was pleased to be coming back. The culture here means that face to face encounters are always the preferred ways of growing relationships than using new technology to try and communicate from afar. In terms of the project, things are really moving in the right direction and the training stage of the work is well under way. It will be good to catch up with the team later on today.
I was slightly amused on Friday to receive an email from Emirates (there are other airlines flying to the Middle East) that contained so much information I wondered just how many people there were involved in daily updating the data. Not only did the email tell me the details of my flight, but what the weather forecast was for the 4 days I'm in Abu Dhabi; there was a menu (for each level of ticket) and the wines being served. I could see the complete film list and what music was available to listen too. It was a trip advisor in words and numbers. And last week was a bit like that for me as well.
I got to see a preview of this year’s Key Information Set (KIS) information. KIS provides prospective students (and I guess their parents) with information on how the programme of study they may fancy doing compares with similar programmes in all other universities. So important and often critical decision making factors are reduced to numerical values – 90% of students were satisfied with the programme; 88% got graduate jobs in the 12 months following completion; the typical cost of accommodation is £XXX; you will spend 40% of your time in lectures and so on.
Our Postgraduate Research students were also doing well in terms of their satisfaction. Nearly 83% were satisfied with their experience, way above the rest of the University, our nearest competitor nearly 10% behind us. We also came top in terms of research culture 71% compared to the University overall score of 58%. And for the third quarter in a row our School has topped the University research grant income league table and have now secured more research income than any other School for this year. On average we are securing 30% of all grants applied for.