Variable 1: LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Who or what government agencies are in charge of public tertiary education in your country? What is the scope of authority of the persons or agencies in charge of education?
The Ministry of Higher Education is responsible for public tertiary education in UAE. The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the Ministry of Higher Education oversees the licensure of higher education institutions and the accreditation of the offered programs. The CAA guarantees that the UAE’s universities and colleges offer the best and highest quality of tertiary education that can compete with its international standards. The Ministry of Higher Education is also in charge of the undergraduate admissions in the five largest higher education institutions in the UAE, namely:
UAE considers its population the “wealth of the nation” and so with the increase in population, investments in education as well as in other social services like health care have been constantly improved. UAE aims to maintain its high standards of living, thus investments in education have been reaping its benefits for the people. Currently, UAE is known for its grand-scale infrastructure projects and an evidence that education is one of the priorities of the government is the incorporation of education infrastructure projects.
What laws have your country passed to improve public tertiary education?
Although UAE has reached very high academic standards, the government recognizes that there should be constant updating of policies and continuous infrastructure developments. There is a current educational strategy employed by the Ministry of Education, composed of five-year plans that will last up to 2020. The main objective is to include IT education at all levels, including at the college level. For example, one of the goals is to provide a computer for every ten children in kindergarten, every five pupils in primary schools, every two students in preparatory schools and one computer per student in universities. Another important educational policy is the collaboration between the public and private sectors. The Abu Dhabi Education Council, an independent corporate body, was formed to develop education and educational institutions in the emirate. The “Public-Private Partnership for Public School Managements” is one of its initiatives to improve the quality of public education. ADEC issued a decree in 2006 abolishing fees at model schools in
All three countries have policies that aim to improve public tertiary education; the difference lies in the focus of each country.
Variable 2: ACCESSIBILTY
How many people are enrolled in colleges and universities in your country?
UAE has one of the world’s highest application participation rates in tertiary education in the world. Ninety-five percent (95%) of all females and eighty percent (80%) of all males who enrolled in the final year of secondary school apply for admission to a higher education institution or to study abroad.
Are the costs for public tertiary education affordable?
Education is free in
Education at all levels, from kindergarten to university, is free for all citizens of the UAE. There is also an extensive private education sector in the country should nationals wish to study in private institutions. Additionally, students may opt to pursue higher education abroad at the Government’s expense.
How many state colleges, universities and other tertiary institutions exist in your country?
The premier state university is
There are several government institutions for higher learning in the UAE, including vocational schools. The three leading government institutions are the UAE University (UAEU), Zayed University (ZU), and
All three states are the same in that they provide free education for all their citizens from pre-school to university. They even send students abroad on government scholarships. All three countries have reputable state-run universities. It can be concluded that public tertiary education in all three countries is highly accessible to their citizens. One unique feature of the UAE is the participation application rate in tertiary education, which is one of the highest in the world. 95% of females and 80% of males in the final year of secondary education apply for college.
Variable 3: LINKAGES
Do your college and university graduates have high employment rates?
The UAE is one of the very few countries in the world where foreigners dominate the private sector, both as employers and employees. At present the majority of the national workforce (88%) is working in a public sector that has reached saturation point and is, therefore, incapable of absorbing the 16,187 nationals entering the job market in 2006. This figure will rise to 19,610 in 2010 and 40,000 by 2020. At present, UAE nationals account for a very small percentage of the total workforce in the private sector, while private sector employment accounts for 52.1% of the jobs in the UAE. Therefore, the creation of job opportunities for national graduates in the private sector is a situation that the Federal Government is anxious to address. One strategy put in place was the establishment in 2001 of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), an independent body whose main objectives are to create job opportunities for UAE nationals, especially in the private sector, reduce the unemployment ratio, enhance the skills and productivity of the national workforce through relevant training, undertake policy-oriented research on a multiplicity of labour-market issues and make recommendations to the Government.What is the percentage of graduates who are employed domestically and internationally? What do public tertiary educational institutions do to enable their students to become employed or be competitive?
The economically active Qatari citizens comprise of 77.1% of the population with a low rate of unemployment at 2.1%. Those with post-secondary and university degrees comprise of 15% of the population while people with higher degrees amount to 1.2% of citizens. Much of the education system in
Most of the universities in the UAE have international accreditations so graduates are qualified to work internationally. In the UAEU, international accreditation has been awarded to the professional academic programmes and the non-professional programmes undergo periodic external evaluation by international experts to ensure that they meet international standards.
What are the companies and organizations that recruit in public colleges and universities?
In the UAEU, students are opened up to new opportunities because of collaboration with international institutions. ZU is successfully innovative in its collaboration with private companies. Smart Square, located in Dubai Internet City (DIC), is a cooperative venture between ZU and IBM. This established a new business partner in the UAE for private and public institutions to create and enhance their e-business and communication activities. Tanmia sponsors a section of the graduate on-the-job training for projects undertaken by
What are the challenges and issues in higher education that your country is currently facing? How is the government addressing these challenges and issues?
The main challenge that the higher education sector in UAE is constantly addressing is focusing on research and training especially in science and technology, to complement the country’s excellence in modernization. Hence, the public universities like UAEU and HCT are focusing on research and IT, respectively. Another remarkable evidence is the strong linkages of the higher education institutions with IT leaders like IBM and Microsoft, proving that IT is the focus of the government in education. Since educational infrastructure is already in place in the UAE and the infrastructure also constantly improves, the focus of the government is to ensure that the youth are prepared to enter the work place with a 21st century setting. Also, to ensure that there enough jobs for the emerging graduates, emiratisation of the workforce is being encouraged by the government, especially in the private sector, where UAE nationals account for a very small percentage of the total workforce. Some progress has already been made in banking, insurance and human resources.
Most universities in UAE and
There is also a similarity in the three countries with the dominance of foreign workers in the private sector, which their respective governments are trying to address by encouraging the private sector to employ