Elevating the standards of education

Education is one of the prime sectors in the UAE that has witnessed a significant transformation
Education is one of the prime sectors in the UAE that has witnessed a significant transformation

New-age subjects are the need of the hour and institutes in the UAE are filling that gap with curricula and skill set

By Rhonita Patnaik

Published: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 12:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 2:41 PM

The UAE is home to a wide range of universities, both public and private. The UAE has established an excellent and diversified system of higher education in a very short period of time.

As the country pursues a knowledge-based economy, the Ministry of Education has been working hard to set perfect global standards of education for the students. It also pledges to support and check the standards offered by foreign institutes in the UAE. 

A key component of the UAE's strategy for development of a top-tier educational system is the establishment of a robust system for quality assurance. The UAE prides itself on rigorous internationally-derived academic quality standards: accrediting bodies, the Ministry of Education, and emirate-level bodies are diligent in maintaining standards through institutional licensure, programme accreditation, reviews and inspections.

Education is one of the prime sectors in the UAE that has witnessed a significant transformation, mainly because of the internationalisation of higher education along with countries reforming the industry so that they are on par with global trends and best practices.

Technological disruption, automation and other new skills have led to the manifestation of many new job opportunities across high-growth professions that warrant dynamic skill sets. The demand for 'digital' and 'human' factors is propelling growth in the professions of tomorrow across seven key professional clusters - Big Data and AI; care economy; green economy; engineering and cloud computing; people and culture; product development; and sales, marketing and content, according to the World Economic Forum's Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy report.
"Increasing demand for high-growth professions has further driven the value of a range of distinctive skill sets that underwrite these seven professional clusters and their promise of growth and prosperity in the new economy.

These in-demand skills can be divided into five distinct skills clusters: business skills, specialised industry skills, general and soft skills, tech baseline skills and tech disruptive skills," the report added.
"Employers will be hiring people with uniquely human skills like creative thinking, reasoning and collaboration, strong interpersonal communication skills, EQ skills, diversity and cultural intelligence, and those who embrace and celebrate change," opines Majid Mneymneh, Vice President, Higher Education and Corporate, Pearson Middle East.

Keeping this in mind, higher education institutes in the UAE have tailored their programmes or added new ones, offering education that attends to the needs of growing market segments and industries.

In June, Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, said that the UAE's leadership is keen to advance the country's higher education system and train its citizens to be prepared for the future. These efforts aim to keep pace with global developments, empower Emirati students, and enable them to achieve overall excellence and leadership, he added.

In his statement, he noted that the allocation of an additional budget of Dh320 million to support national universities reflects the vision of the country's leadership to prioritise higher education, to ensure the country's readiness and supply vital sectors with qualified citizens capable of achieving success, as well as to guarantee the implementation of the country's strategic plans and enhance its future competitiveness.

Investing in national universities is an investment in the UAE's knowledge and human potential, he added, stressing that it is crucial to provide students with an ideal environment to keep pace with a new era of education that contains many new challenges, in light of the many changes taking place around the world, especially in the area of higher education.

The UAE Government and the individual emirates have forged numerous partnerships with global institutions aimed at improving education in the UAE and promoting knowledge and cultural exchanges.

The UAE has established a vibrant education sector with an increasing variety of choice at all levels. While the private segment continues to dominate, recent reforms have seen major improvements to public sector higher education, modernising it and bringing it in line with international best practices. Inevitably, high rates of growth in the number of higher education institutions have led to consolidation, gradually slowing expansion and creating greater barriers to entry for prospective players.

The country has become a preferred destination for higher education due to revised visa regulations, quality of life, safety and the cost-benefit advantage. Many leading Western universities in Dubai offer the same degrees as their home campuses, only with lower tuition rates and living expenses.

'It is also easier for students to secure long-term UAE visas, facilitating residency and employment in the country. This takes the time and pressure off the job search for fresh graduates and, in turn, contributes to the retention of homegrown talent. In addition, the UAE ranked as the second safest country in the 'World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017', boosting its credentials among tourists as well as transnational students.

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