Regional Director, Middle East and Africa

Dubai, UAE
Competitive salary to be negotiated with the successful candidate
02 Jun 2023
End of advertisement period
01 Jul 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About University College Dublin, Ireland's Global University

Founded in 1854, University College Dublin (UCD) is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities and has made a unique and substantial contribution to the creation of modern Ireland, based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity.

As Ireland's largest university, with its great strength and diversity of disciplines, UCD embraces its role to contribute to the flourishing of Ireland through teaching, research and innovation. The University's ‘Rising to the Future’ Strategy outlines the objectives and major strategic initiatives set in place in order to accomplish UCD's vision for this era.

The University's main Dublin campus occupies an extensive parkland estate of 133 hectares and offers world-leading facilities including the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD Sutherland School of Law, UCD Lochlan Quinn School of Business and UCD Student Centre. A further campus in Dublin houses the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, which holds “triple crown” accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.

UCD is also Ireland's most globally engaged university with 34,000 students drawn from over 130 countries, including over 9,000 international students in Ireland and over 4,000 students based at locations outside of Ireland. As the number one 'university of destination' for international students coming to Ireland, UCD's international students make up 27% of the student body on its Dublin campuses, while 30% of the university’s academic and professional staff are from outside Ireland.

Beyond Dublin, UCD's world extends far beyond its campuses, with a global network of 300,000 alumni and 46 alumni chapters around the world. 

In support of its global engagement in teaching and research, in partnerships and in student mobility, UCD has developed a network of UCD Global Centres in North America, China, India, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, each of which serves as a hub for the university’s activities in the region.

UCD’s global standing is recognised through success in international rankings, where it is ranked at 181 in the QS World University Rankings 2023. 

The Role

Title: Regional Director, Middle East and Africa


Reporting to the Director, International Student Recruitment and the Director, Global Relations, Partnerships and Mobility, the Director works closely with the UCD Global Leadership Team in relation to their areas of key responsibility – International Student Recruitment, Global Relations and Partnerships, Study Abroad, and Global Experience.

Other key contacts and relationships within UCD include the Vice-President for Global Engagement, College Principals and Vice-Principals (International), Heads of School, and representatives of central units including Alumni and Development, Careers, and Research.

External links and relationships include the Irish Embassy; Enterprise Ireland & Education in Ireland representatives; University Presidents, Vice Presidents and Directors of International Offices; recruitment agents; civil servants; alumni and other regional and sub regional organisations.

Main Responsibilities

  • Serve as the University’s primary official representative in the Middle East and Africa, strengthening UCD’s profile and reputation and managing and delivering outreach activity in the region, in conjunction with relevant UCD units and Colleges/Schools. Act as a senior point of contact for the region, for staff across the University and external parties.
  • Lead the UCD Global Centre in the UAE, including management of a regional budget and management of a small team of staff in the UAE, Nigeria and Dublin.
  • Coordinate the University’s activity in the region, including development and implementation of an annual/biannual Regional Plan developed in response to a Regional Strategy. Liaise regularly with Colleges, Schools and professional units to identify, track and connect priority areas of activity. Work closely with the staff in UCD Global to communicate opportunities.
  • Under the guidance of the Director, International Student Recruitment, lead and advance international marketing and student recruitment activity in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Under the guidance of the Director, Global Relations and Partnerships in UCD Global, support research and educational relationship-building visits to universities, research institutes, businesses and government departments. To advise and assist staff in visiting and engaging with the region to deliver School and College priorities.
  • Working closely with the Alumni Relations unit and UCD Foundation, facilitate and encourage active engagement with UCD’s alumni community in the Middle East and Africa. To report regularly to all stakeholders as appropriate on the impact of alumni engagement plans.
  • To provide intelligence and strategic advice on opportunities for engagement, including market research and to ensure that accurate and timely regional briefings are available for staff across the University.
  • Manage and support additional initiatives and projects linked to the University’s Global Engagement Strategy.

Required Skills 

Given the complexity and diversity of the University’s international activity and regional engagement, the successful candidate will require the following key skills: 

  • Excellent planning and organisation skills to enable management and completion of multiple projects and tasks.
  • Advanced stakeholder management skills, involving a wide range of contacts at all levels in the Middle East and Africa, and in Ireland, and the ability to represent the University professionally in multiple contexts.
  • A high level of political awareness, diplomacy and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Effective problem-solving skills and the ability to gather intelligence and information to assist with solving problems relating to the delivery of the University’s activity in the region.
  • Capacity for objective decision-making and line management, given that the position is located at a distance and without recourse to immediate support.
  • Willingness and capacity to undertake extensive travel range of contacts at all levels in the Middle East and Africa the region, and in Ireland, and the ability to represent the University professionally in multiple contexts.

Key Selection Criteria

  • Educated to Master’s degree level, with at least 8 years’ experience working in an international organisation and/or higher education.
  • Experience of stakeholder engagement and ability to represent the University at the highest level to a wide range of contacts and organisations.
  • Excellent organisation skills, including the ability to proactively deal with multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Ability to operate on own initiative, to be self-motivated and disciplined.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Experience of human resources and budget management.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.


  • Experience in International Higher Education, most distinctly with experience in educational systems of the Middle East and Africa regions.
  • Awareness of international student recruitment strategies.
  • Previous experience of study overseas.
  • Familiarity with Ireland and the Irish higher education sector.



For further details and / or a confidential discussion, Una Watkins (

To submit your application for this position, please send a cover letter (max. 2 pages) and a copy of your CV by email to

Successful candidates will be contacted directly.

Applications will remain open until the position is filled.


Location: This post is based in Dubai, UAE.

Duration: Post duration is 2 years with possibility of renewal.

Salary: Competitive salary to be negotiated with the successful candidate & subject to annual performance review.