DMU announced as Founding Partner for the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has announced it is to represent UK higher education at one of the world’s largest ever trade, culture and technology fairs.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be staged over six months from October 2020 to April 2021 and is the first World Expo to be hosted by an Arab nation.


Baroness Fairhead with DMU Interim PVC/Dean for Arts, Design and Humanities Simon Bradbury

The event will host 180 nations and is expected to attract more than 25 million visits, including international tourists, students and business leaders. Expo’s theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, with a focus on education and nurturing talent.

DMU will take its place at the UK Pavilion, the centrepiece of the UK’s presence at World Expo. Reflecting the UK’s participating theme, ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’, the Pavilion will highlight the UK as a global hub for innovation in sectors including artificial intelligence, machine learning and space.

DMU is a Founding Partner, which means the institution will lead the sector at the global showcase and  help shape the UK’s contribution to Expo 2020.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said“This is an historic announcement for DMU and one which will fire the imaginations of all of our students and staff as we consider what we can achieve during and after Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Not only will we be sitting proudly on a world stage, sharing ideas with some of the globe’s greatest thinkers and innovators, but we will also be looking to create a long lasting legacy to benefit our students for years to come.

“The three Expo sub themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity could not fit better with DMU’s values and priorities and particularly its ongoing global work with the United Nations. Over the coming months, I will be calling on as many students and staff as possible to push forward ideas that can show the millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai how our university connects minds and creates futures.”

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The winning UK pavilion design at the launch

Speaking at the Victoria and Albert Museum at an event to showcase the winning UK Pavilion design, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Fairhead unveiled De Montfort University as a founding partner.

She said: “I am delighted to announce De Montfort University as our first Founding Partner for the UK Pavilion, to represent UK higher education.

“Lasting over six months, Expo 2020 Dubai will present DMU with the chance to connect with millions of visitors, including students. We hope it will enable them to establish new partnerships and in turn attract more students to the UK. We at the DIT stand ready to support.”

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DMU Architecture staff and students at the Expo 2020 design launch

The UK Pavilion has been conceived by award-winning UK Artist and Designer, Es Devlin OBE and will be produced by the London and Dubai teams of the global brand experience agency, Avantgarde. The Department for International Trade is leading the UK’s presence at the event, with cross-government support.

DMU Architecture students who attended the event spoke of their excitement at DMU’s involvement.

Rahul Baria, a second year student, said: “I think it is superb that DMU has such a high level of involvement at what will be one of the largest events in the world. I was so glad to be invited to the V&A to see the plans for what will be a stunning UK Pavilion.”

World Expos are held every five years in different host countries, with the first being the iconic Great Exhibition of 1851, held in the Crystal Palace in London, designed to showcase the greatest inventions of the industrial revolution in the heart of Victorian Britain.

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DMU Architecture students admiring the pavilion design model

Expo 2020 Dubai is a global destination for millions to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity. They bring together countries, companies and millions of visitors to showcase ideas and encourage dialogue about the future.

Innovations showcased in past Expos have included the telegraph, the typewriter, the first mechanical computer, the x-ray machine and electron microscopes.

Architectural gems to have been born from cities hosting an Expo have included the Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Columbus Monument in Barcelona, The Natural History Museum and V&A in London and the iconic Seattle Space Tower.

Posted on Wednesday 7 November 2018

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