How university differs from school

Sure, there’s no uniform, you won’t be attending as many classes and there won’t be teachers in the corridors dragging you back into class, but there’s more to it than that. There are plenty of differences between school and university!

Study what interests you

University education is the first step in taking control of your own learning. Unlike high school, where you study certain subjects because they’re compulsory, at university you can choose a course that suits your interests and abilities. Your interest is what makes you love what you do. As the saying goes, choose a career you love and you won’t work a day in the future!

Student responsibility

At high school, the teacher is responsible for the way you study a subject, whereas, at university, you are responsible for identifying the best way to study and complete your assignments.

Contact time

Contact time is the time you spend at university attending lectures and tutorials. At high school, you spend about 30 hours a week at school, but you will generally have much less contact time at university. This doesn’t mean you spend less time on your studies at university – it just means you’re expected to do a greater portion of your work away from the classroom. This usually involves research, reading and completing assignments.


The rules at Curtin Dubai aren’t as strict as those at high school. For instance, there’s no particular dress code like there is at school and no one’s going to call your parents if you miss a class. Nevertheless, a high standard of behaviour is expected, no form of discrimination will be tolerated and all students will have to respect and abide by the rules of conduct set by Dubai International Academic City. At Curtin Dubai, we encourage tolerance and acceptance of people from all walks of life, and as a result, you will find the Curtin Dubai community a welcoming place free of prejudice, where you can always feel comfortable.


Universities aren’t just about teaching and learning. One of the major functions of most universities is research. Because universities are attended by so many experts across a range of fields, they play an important role in supplying industry and government with innovative solutions to real problems. As an undergraduate or postgraduate student at Curtin Dubai, you may be able to participate in a research project under the guidance of one of your lecturers.