64% of International Universities in Dubai Received Top Rating in 2020

The Higher Education Classification annual report by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) announced yesterday (8th June) the international universities in Dubai for the 2019-20 academic period. According to the list, 64% of branch campuses in Dubai have scored 5-stars and 4-star ratings.

HEC is an annual rating system which helps parents and the students to make their choices. The ratings are compared according to categories such as Research, Teaching, Facilities, Programme Strength, Employability and Internationalisation.

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Top International Universities in Dubai

For the year 2019-20, Six universities received a 5-star rating and Five universities achieved a 4-star rating. There is a big increase reported compare to last year. As only Three universities received 5-star rating last year and Eight universities achieved a 4-star rating.

Please check below the rating of top universities received 5-star rating this year.

University Name Star Rating in 2019-20 Star Rating in 2018-19
Heriot-Watt University 5 5
London Business School 5 5
Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani (BITS Pilani) Dubai Campus 5 4
Manipal University 5 4
Middlesex University Dubai 5 4
City, University of London 5 4

Below is the list of international universities in Dubai achieved 4-star rating this year.

University Name Rating in 2019-20 Rating in 2018-19
The University of Manchester – Middle East Centre 4 5
HULT International Business School Dubai 4 4
Amity University Dubai 4 4
S P Jain School of Global Management – Dubai Campus 4 4
SAE Institute 4 3

Among the top international universities in Dubai, only The University of Manchester lost its rating from 5-star to 4-star compare to last year ratings. All others have either improved or maintained their ratings this year.

Worst International Universities in Dubai

Out of 17 universities which are featured in the HEC rating system, 6 universities achieved ratings 3 or less. Please find below all the international universities Dubai branches which achieve less rating, according to HEC.

University Name Star Rating in 2019-20 Star Rating in 2018-19
University of Bradford 3 4
Murdoch University, Dubai 3 3
University of Exeter 3 3
ESMOD French Fashion Institute 3 2
Islamic Azad University 2 2
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) 2 1

Among the worst-performing international universities, only two universities rated 2-stars. Islamic Azad University and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST). And the only University of Bradford lost its rating from 4-star ratings to 3-stars.

Good news is that no university received a 1-star rating this year. Last year in 2018-19, SZABIST was the only one to get a 1-star rating. Though SZABIST rated the worst-performing international university, however, they achieved 5-star ratings in the employability category and 3-star rating in art & culture and inclusiveness.

Dr Hummayoun Naeem, head of the campus at SZABIST is very optimistic about the achieving 3-star rating next year. He said: “I would say we have improved in the weak areas pointed out last time. We equipped our facility with proper resources and we’ve implemented green practices at the campus. We’ve also introduced more qualified guest speakers and we now have a dedicated activities officer. We are going to continue the progress.”

Dr Hummayoun Naeem added that the SZABIST still lacks in certain areas which have kept them at a low rank. Such as not having access to outdoor sports facilities.

He said: “We are a small university and there are certain areas such as outdoor sports that we don’t have. We have to ask other universities to borrow their sports ground.”

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Higher Education Classification (HEC)

Higher Education Classification rating tool is giving confidence in decision making for the students and their parents. This year classification was developed in collaboration with QS Quacquarelli Symonds and more than 30,000 students were surveyed.

Dr Wafi Dawood, chief executive of strategy and planning sector at KHDA, said: “Students in Dubai and all over the world can refer to the HEC to identify what they value in higher education, and then to make more confident decisions about their future in Dubai. The HEC also gives branch campuses an opportunity to show their strengths. We’re grateful to our university partners for their cooperation in putting the HEC together.”