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UAE jumps to 19th position on Global Knowledge Index

Sarwat Nasir /Dubai
Filed on December 5, 2018 | Last updated on December 5, 2018 at 09.05 pm
UAE jumps to 19th position on Global Knowledge Index

(Alamy Image)

The country has also retained its second place globally on the economy index.

The UAE is now among the top 20 countries worldwide in terms of having the most knowledge-based society and economy, a report has revealed.

The report was part of the Global Knowledge Index and was carried out by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It was released during the first day of the Global Knowledge Summit on Wednesday, which showed that the UAE has moved from last year's rank of 25 to a new ranking of 19. The country has also retained its second place globally on the economy index.

A total of 134 countries were measured in this report and components such as pre-university education, technical and vocational education and training, higher education, research development and innovation, information and communications technology, economy and enabling environment were measured in order to produce results.

Switzerland scored number one rank again this year, followed by Sweden, Finland, the USA and then Luxembourg. Yemen ranked last, second last was Congo and Mali was third last.

Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF, said the country now aims to get a number one rank "just like how the Emirati passport took top spot recently".

He said: "The Global Knowledge Index is the only one index that measures knowledge on the level of 134 countries. The UAE's rank moved up and this is a very good performance.

This performance is exceptional for countries because this proves that certain countries are performing well in knowledge.

"The strategy of the UAE focuses on developing education, infrastructure of education and innovation - this was reflected in the results of the index. The countries that are ahead of the UAE in the index are countries in Asia or Europe who have a long experience in the field of knowledge. Like the UAE passport is ranked number one, we are looking forward to be ranked number one in the knowledge level."

The UAE scored high when it came to pre-university education, with a rank of 13 out of 134 countries. It scored a 14th rank in the technical and vocational education and training component and 20 in higher education.

Dr Hany Torky, chief technical adviser at the UNDP, said the UAE's ranking moved up because of its implementation of various technology, especially artificial intelligence and blockchain.

"It's very difficult for any country to jump up one or two levels so easily, but the UAE has a good performance in seven sectoral indices. For example, in university education, the rank in 2017 was 16, but this year it is 13. Technical vocational education was ranked 24 but now it's 14. Ten steps in one year is very important to the UAE, this means they have a very fast development. They have a good and efficient strategy for education and ICT. For ICT, it was ranked 23rd in 2017 and this year its ranked 16," he said.

To reach the top spot in the index, Dr Torky said that the UAE will have to invest further into technologies.

"They have to look to technology, for example artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, biotechnology, blockchain and future skills related to these technologies. Technology plays the main role in a knowledge economy and the UAE is building the link between technology, labour market and the economy," he said.

When asked where the UAE is lagging behind, he said that most oil countries struggle when it comes the enabling environment criteria.

"All oil countries have a low rank in environment. CO2 mission and renewable energy have a low rank within oil countries. If the UAE works towards improving enabling environment, maybe in one year, the country will be among top 10 countries," Dr Torky added.

The UAE has been ranked 131 out of 134 countries in the environment component. It is 131 in the CO2 emissions per capita section.


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