With every year passing Middle East countries especially UAE attracting International Universities and Colleges to open their campuses in their countries. Following the successful bid for Expo 2020, Dubai has become the major attraction for international Universities. There are already more than 11 International Universities in Dubai, offering best programs and these degrees are well recognized around the world.
Existing universities in Dubai are focusing on constructing bigger and more well-resourced campuses for students with continued increase in Fees. All of this shows signs of growth for the higher education sector in Dubai as well as Dubai is planning to become a top education destination in the region.
While speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr. Warren H. Fox, Chief of Higher Eduction, Universities and Colleges Agency at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said: “Since the announcement of World Expo 2020 being hosted by Dubai, we have seen more interest from education providers. We are seeing a real increase and there has been a surge in the number of inquiries. Most of them are interested in setting up local private universities, although we encourage setting up of international branch campuses which bring their experience and quality when they open in Dubai. It is challenging to have a local campus grow and build itself over time.”
When asked about the future and demand of Higher Education in Dubai, Dr. Warren H. Fox, said: “We don’t know what the demand for higher education in Dubai is like. The expat community drives almost 90% of the demand and only 10 per cent is supported by Emirati students. Majority of the Emirati students go to federal universities and the branch campuses mostly serve expats who make up a transitional population. People move in and move out all the time. Currently, there are 25,000 students in education free zones and the enrollment is increasing every year, leading us to believe there is demand.”
About regulating Fees charging by Universities like KHDA do for schools in Dubai, Dr. Warren said: “Currently, fees charged by higher education institutions are not regulated. We don’t set or control fees in this sector since it is quite different from schooling. There is a range of prices from which people can pick a course of their choice. Some programs are more expensive because of their reputation and quality. Campuses undertake their own research and they are aware of the fact that higher fees can keep students away and they have to remain competitive.”
Dr. Warren also spoke about keeping the standard high and how KHDA handles to regulate higher education institutes. He told reporters that “The KHDA is moving towards greater transparency and all our reports are available online for the public. We make a very basic decision on whether an institution is meeting the standards set by the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB). If so, we approve the course and if it is not meeting the quality requirements, the course is put on probation and it may be ultimately closed down.”
From all of this we can clearly have the picture that Dubai is going to dominate the region in Education sector as well. No wonder if Dubai will become the hub for students from all over the world in near future.