Higher Education in UAE and its Scope for International Students

Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India

 -Dr. Rahul Kumar, senior correspondent, the Asian Independent, UK-

(Samaj Weekly)- On 23.11.2021, during a virtual event, UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Al Banna addressed  a gathering of  MA, M.Phil & PhD Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on the theme: “Higher Education in the UAE and its Scope for International Students”. The virtual event was organised by Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, JNU, New Delhi. Dr. Sudhir Suthar, Assistant professor of International Relations and Agrarian Studies introduced and welcomed the Honourable Ambassador.

Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India said that one of the UAE’s highest priorities has always been education. His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, noted, “The greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people.” In 2014, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the National Innovation Strategy that aimed to make the UAE among the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The strategy targeted seven sectors one of which is education.

The UAE is one of the most progressive societies and new initiatives are being launched at all educational levels. The UAE’s commitment to education has helped the nation diversify its economy and prepare a new generation of young people ready to compete in the global marketplace. In 2019, young people surveyed throughout the Arab world identified the UAE as the top country to live in and to emulate for the eighth year running, reflecting the opportunities available to youth entering the workforce. In 2017 the Ministry of Education introduced the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030. The strategy sets out to build and achieve the highest scientific and professional education standards to serve the UAE’s future generations.

It also aims to prepare a generation of Emirati professionals to sustain growth in vital sectors such as knowledge, economy, entrepreneurship and the overall development of the UAE’s labour market. The UAE Government set four main pillars to achieve this strategy: quality, efficiency, innovation and harmonization. The UAE has established an excellent and diversified system of higher education in a very short period. United Arab Emirates University, founded in 1976, was the first university in the country. Over 100 universities both private and public exist throughout the UAE today.

Notable Global Partnership Programmes in the UAE include;

  • The Sorbonne opened its Abu Dhabi campus in 2006 and awards qualifications under French regulations and standards set by the Sorbonne in Paris.
  • New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and sciences campus with a robust research component to be operated abroad by a major US university. NYU Abu Dhabi has produced 16 Rhodes Scholars in 8 years. The prestigious international award is one of the world’s oldest and enables exceptional students to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
  • Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health is helping establish a public health doctoral program in the Emirates.
  •  Other US institutions include the University of Washington, Boston University and Rochester Institute of Technology.

I am glad to share that Three Indian Universities viz. Amity university, BITS Pilani and Manipal University have their UGC approved offshore campuses in Dubai whereas Institute of Management Technology (IMT) is accredited by CAA, UAE Ministry of Education.

It is my personal belief that there are endless opportunities for mutual collaboration in the realm of Higher Education between the UAE and India.