UAE education sector booming

UAE education sector booming
A steady rise in the school population is most likely to drive growth in the education industry, says Alpen Capital's 'GCC Education Industry report'.

Dubai - Disposable incomes, rising population drive demand for quality education


Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Sat 15 Dec 2018, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Dec 2018, 2:17 PM

The UAE's education sector is set to welcome more schools as demand is expected to surge. The recent introduction of favourable government policies is also expected to give a major boost to the sector, which is adopting the latest technologies and skills to create a better and smarter future for future generations.
Among the key growth drivers is the UAE's overall population, which reached 10.1 million in 2017, increasing at a CAGR of 2.6 per cent since 2012. Meanwhile, the school-age population under the age of 25 years was recorded at 1.1 million in 2017. A steady rise in the school population is most likely to drive growth in the education industry, says Alpen Capital's 'GCC Education Industry report'.
The GDP per capita based on public-private partnership, is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 2.3 per cent between 2017 and 2022. The increasing levels of disposable income result in willingness to spend on higher quality of education. The government has allotted Dh10.4 billion ($2.83 billion) for the education sector in its 2018 budget. It has launched several strategic plans such as the Emirati School Model, 'Education 2020' strategy, including smart learning programmes, new teachers' codes, licensing and evaluations systems, as well as curriculum revision.
The rise in the number of private schools is driven by the demand for quality educational institutes in the country. In 2018, 13 private schools opened in Dubai while Abu Dhabi saw three new private schools being introduced.
"The recent pick-up in oil prices is expected to bring new energy for infrastructural spending and business activities. Additionally, there is considerable opportunity for consolidation in the education segment which, along with favourable demographics, high disposable income and growing awareness for quality education, is likely to play a pivotal role going forward," said Mahboob Murshed, managing director, Alpen Capital.
According to Alpen Capital, the total number of students in the GCC education sector is projected to reach 14.5 million in 2022, registering a CAGR of 2.3 per cent from an estimated 12.9 million in 2017. A growing school age population, high per capita income, continued government spending and long-term strategic government initiatives is expected to drive the future growth of the GCC education sector.
Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO - Principal of Credence High School, said: "With a clear and defined vision by the UAE leadership for 2020, the country's educational landscape is top-class and heading in the right direction. The Ministry of Education/KHDA supports schools/educational institutions at every step and aids in their progress. With the national agenda vis-a-vis education for targets such as TIMSS [Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study], PISA [Programmed for International Student Assessment], high quality teachers and highly effective school leadership, the schools are propelled towards offering quality education to its students. The agenda also motivates all stakeholders, eventually filtering into the classrooms. The UAE's best practices in education are instrumental in preparing the youth of today as global citizens of tomorrow."
Between 2017 and 2022, the pre-primary and tertiary segments is expected to grow at a faster rate than other segments. The pre-primary segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.7 per cent, whereas the tertiary segment will witness growth at a CAGR of 3.6 per cent. Primary and secondary segments are expected to witness a moderate growth rate of 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent CAGR, respectively. The number of students in private schools is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1 per cent, whereas enrolments at public schools is likely to increase at a slower pace, recording a CAGR of 1.3 per cent between 2017 and 2022.
The demand for public and private schools in the GCC region is likely to increase at a CAGR of 1.9 per cent to 36,747 by 2022, reflecting a requirement of more than 3,200 schools over the next 5 years. The demand for public schools in the GCC is expected to increase at a CAGR of 1.3 per cent whereas the demand for private schools is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.1 per cent between 2017 and 2022.
Raza Khan, chief executive officer at Al Najah Education, said: "The market is strong and offers sustainable returns for investors and increasingly better choice and quality for parents. The highest growth is in the mid-market sector."
UAE parents are increasingly aware of the importance of selecting a school curriculum that teaches essential skills for future careers. Norbert Foerster, head of School at the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, said: "The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is known for being an intensive academic curriculum that equips students with the right tools for a well-rounded, self-sufficient attitude to life, not just education."
- sandhya@khaleejtimes.comm

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