Report blames educational institutions for rise of unemployment

DUBAI - A recent report on higher education institutions prepared by the Federal National Council's Committee for Education and Youth and Information and Cultural Affairs, has blamed the public and private higher education institutions in the country for the increasing number of unemployment among UAE national graduates.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Thu 5 Feb 2004, 12:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:36 PM

It also revealed a major flaw in the current secondary school education system in the country.

The report, prepared after a careful scrutiny of the performance of universities and higher colleges in the country, noted that the higher education institutions have not been producing graduates who are qualified enough to acquire jobs for the professions they covered in their studies.

"There has been an increase in the number of fresh graduates registering as unemployed with the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia). Some 29,900 graduates registered for jobs in 2002, while a further 12,600 were looking for jobs by the end of November 2003." University graduates accounted for 35 per cent of the total 29,900 nationals seeking jobs in 2002.

The increasing number of registrations for jobs with Tanmia simply reflects a steady increase in the number of national jobseekers, following significant increase in the number of graduates each year.

Besides, the rise in unemployment among UAE graduates is also attributed to incompatibility of academic training with market requirements.

"There are more graduates from theoretical rather than practical academic disciplines, while the labour market is more oriented towards technological and professional areas. There is apparentlyno coordination between the higher education institutions and employment institutions, thus leaving students to opt for specialisations that are not in demand in the job market, " the report stated.

The committee further noted that of the total 13,123 students who sat for the secondary school certificate examination for the current academic year, 65 per cent appeared in the arts and humanities streams.

This is also reflected in the admissions to the universities, the report said, further stating that in 2001-2002 admissions to the UAE University, the colleges of law, education and humanities accounted for 47.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, a general deterioration was reported in the standards of students in mathematics, English and Arabic, forcing the university and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to spend money on training for newly admitted students in order to provide them with language and information technology skills so as to cope with academic life.

"The total spent by higher education institutions on training first year students is about Dh300 million annually."

According to the report, these students also lack basic skills; research ideas and/or personal abilities that could help them deal with new academic situations.

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