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International Horizons College in Dubai Develops a Worldwide Academic Model Powered by Polycom Video Collaboration Solutions
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Building partnerships with US universities, the college offers a two-year honors program with an American curriculum
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Jun 25, 2013: Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced that International Horizons College is using Polycom video collaboration solutions to hold faculty meetings, interview professors and students, and create collaborative teaching programs with colleges and universities in the USA.
Based in Dubai, International Horizons College (IHC) is licensed and accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.  IHC is a highly selective independent and international undergraduate institution committed to fulfilling high standards of academic excellence and relevancy to the 21st century.   It provides high academically performing students from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region with an American-style college education in arts, sciences and pre-professional studies. IHC students complete their first two years in Dubai and can complete the final two years at top ranked US and regional universities.
As Michael Dobe, PhD, President of International Horizons College, explained, Polycom video collaboration technology has been part of the project from the beginning: “I’ve been a Polycom video user for years, and it was imperative to me to use Polycom collaborative solutions as part of the IHC project.  As we are creating an American-style elite liberal arts college in Dubai, we need to connect regularly with the States, and the best way is using Polycom.”
IHC chose to implement Polycom as a managed Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) delivered by Polycom local partner FVC.  Polycom® RealPresence® HDX® video systems equipped with Polycom® EagleEye™ Director cameras in the classrooms are connected to the cloud-based Polycom® RealPresence® Collaboration Server and Polycom® RSS™ recording and streaming software, delivered as a service by FVC.  
Today the faculty also uses video for staff meetings, with professors dialing in from anywhere using Polycom® RealPresence® Desktop 3.0 software on their laptops.  Another Polycom video-enabled application is recruiting new professors from the US; conducting interviews over video eliminates the cost and time of travel for in-person interviews and provides a far richer interview experience than voice alone. Any hiring committee members unable to attend an interview can review the recorded version later streamed from the cloud-hosted Polycom RSS.
The college is currently working on developing partnerships with colleges in the United States for the benefit of students. The first partnership is with a two-year college in California to provide students with pathways into the prestigious University of California system (UC Berkeley, UCLA and six other top ranked universities).  “With Polycom video collaboration solutions in our global classrooms, the possibilities are endless,” said Dr. Dobe, who actively encourages IHC students, faculty and staff to use Polycom video collaboration solutions for co-teaching, guest lecturers, and research programs.