Tharuka Yagama from Sri Lanka seized the opportunity to build an international career in the aviation industry as soon as he saw it.
Two years ago, the 23-year-old saw that the University of South Wales (USW) was opening a new campus in front of Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, the world’s largest airport in the making, he wasted no time to check it out.
After scrolling through the aerospace engineering degrees that the Dubai campus offered, Tharuka found the BSc (Hons) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Top-Up), a degree that he felt would build on his existing aviation knowledge.
“I chose USW Dubai because of USW’s existing reputation, especially regarding the aviation field. And I chose to study in Dubai South because of the higher amount of job opportunities,” he said.
Opportunities ready for takeoff in Dubai South
Strategically located and connecting both air and sea mega ports, Dubai South is set to become the region’s most anticipated hub for career opportunities
It aims to support every kind of business and create 500,000 jobs while doing so — making it the ideal location for aspiring industry leaders like Tharuka.
“There are so many places, job opportunities and attractions to enjoy in Dubai,” he said.
From global events such as the World Expo 2020 and the Dubai Airshow in Dubai South to the mile-long waterfront strip named Al Seef, where you’ll find many restaurants, offices, cafes and shops — there’s never a shortage of activities here either.
And on-campus, there’s a supportive faculty ready and waiting to welcome students to one of the safest cities in the world.
“Dr Akram and his team were so welcoming.They gave us all the support we needed during our time away from home and we also had access to the campus at night if we wanted to study,” Tharuka said.
At USW Dubai, professors always ensure their fresh batch of fliers are clued in to industry needs. It was due to their dedication that Tharuka landed a placement during his studies at Execujet Middle East, Dubai Airport.
“All modules were designed to suit industry standards and my lecturers were so experienced and had worked in the real aviation industry so they could share their real-world insights with us,” he says.
It’s clear to see that the industry-led teaching at USW Dubai paid off as the 23-year-old now works at Execujet Dubai full-time as an assistant aircraft technician.
Would he recommend future international students to follow in his footsteps and build a global career for themselves in Dubai? Absolutely.
“This is the best place to study aviation since USW Dubai has a great team of professionals, high industry-level facilities for practical learning and strong links with employers.”
Advance as an aviator through industry-led learning
Another student who hopes to build an international career in UAE’s growing industry hub is Radlee Dsouza.
So far, his first year studying a BSc (Hons) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at USW Dubai has been a great experience.
“The lecturers have really pushed me in the classroom to get the best out of me, and with their expertise and guidance I was able to find a placement at MSI Aircraft Maintenance Services International,” he said.
And through his internship, Radlee has had the chance to implement the theory and the practical knowledge he gained from the university to his MSI role.
“My experience at MSI has been exceptional,” Radlee said.
“From day one I have worked on various projects which has helped me understand and follow a number of protocols and procedures. I’ve been fortunate to spend my time with such a great team who have given me the confidence to work independently.”
On top of this valuable experience with a top aircraft maintenance company in Dubai, he’s also had the chance to amplify his employability and boost his resume while completing his degree.
“This course has helped me a lot in terms of gaining knowledge to be industry-ready. It has also helped me get all possible exposure to industry standards,” he adds.
Radlee said this degree is the only one he’s seen to integrate European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) license training.
Plus, it’s also the only one to connect him to hands-on learning resources, such as laboratory spaces that were treated as a live aircraft environment, and industry insights from experienced professors:
“The professors have been very supportive. May it be professional or personal — they have always made us feel comfortable right from day one.”
So if Radlee or his peers ever feel like they need help with something else, they can contact their campus student services or the UK Students’ Union and Advice Zone which is a welcoming point of contact for all student enquiries.
“Studying in Dubai South makes me feel like I am part of something bigger,” he adds.
“And to be situated right in front of the world’s largest airport in the making and to see aircrafts take-off from over Dubai South is just incredible.”