Emirati students in US increase by 112% over 10 years

Reuters
Reuters

Dubai - The highest number of Emirati students in the US was seen in the 2015-16 academic year, when the UAE sent 2,920 students to the country,



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 8 Aug 2021, 7:23 PM

The number of Emirati students who are opting to study in the US has increased by around 112 per cent over the last decade, according to figures revealed by education search platform Erudera.com.

Gent Ukëhajdaraj from Erudera said the data collected between 2005-06 and 2019-20 shows that the US continues to be a popular study destination for Emiratis, like many other nationalities.

The highest number of Emirati students in the US was seen in the 2015-16 academic year, when the UAE sent 2,920 students to the country, according to the platform’s data.

Since 2006, more and more students from the Middle East had been choosing the US as a destination for higher education. From 22,321 in 2006, the total number of Emirati students who went to US universities spiked to 100,926 by 2015.

In the 2019-20 period, however, a 12 per cent decrease was seen compared to the previous year, with numbers going down from 2,361 to 2,074 students. A similar trend was seen among students from several other countries, and it was mainly because of the pandemic.

“It is understandable that the number may have dropped due to the closure of borders as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ukëhajdaraj said.

“According to official statistics [in 2019-20], out of 2,074 Emiratis studying in the United States, 1,655 were enrolled in undergraduate programmes, which is an 11 per cent decrease compared to a year earlier. Some 255 were pursuing graduate degrees, 121 were non-degree students while 43 were optional practical training (OPT) participants, which is also a 36 percent decrease from the previous year. Under the latter, F-1 international students who have pursued full-time studies in the US for at least two successive semesters are allowed to work in the country in their field of study,” added Ukëhajdaraj.

Recently, a new collaborative effort to prepare the Emirati youth for higher education studies in the US has been launched.

In partnership with the UAE Ministry of Education, AMIDEAST and the US, the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) has announced the US University Readiness Programme, which will develop the skills of 105 11th-grade Emirati students and 33 counsellors from nearly 47 schools across the UAE to navigate the admissions process of higher education institutions in the US.

nandini@khaleejtimes.com


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