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UAE ranked 25 in global knowledge index

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on November 21, 2017

The information in the index is meant to help policy makers in decision-making

The UAE has been ranked 25 out of 131 in the Global Knowledge Index 2017, which is a first of its kind of a report carried out together by the United Nations and the UAE.

The index, by the United Nations Development Programme and UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, aims to provide information on where a country stands in terms of its knowledge sector. It's the first time the UAE has worked with releasing a global index, as in the previous years, it released only the Arab Knowledge Index.

The information in the index is meant to help policy makers in decision-making and ultimately improve that specific sector and the components tied with it, such as knowledge economy; information and communication technology (ICT); higher education and vocational education.

Switzerland ranked number one in the index, followed by Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and then United States. Yemen was ranked last place at rank 131. Togo was at a rank of 129 out 131 countries, followed by Mali at 130.

"The best performers in the Arab countries for knowledge is UAE. And this comes from the fact that the objective of innovation and creativity is important to policy makers in the UAE," Motaz Khorshid, former minister of higher education and scientific research in Egypt and one of the team members that lead the index research, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Knowledge Summit.

"They are spending on education in the UAE. In ICT, they are also performing well and have a high rank. The UAE might reach rank 15 in the next five years. The top levels are some countries like Switzerland and Singapore, but I think the UAE can climb into higher ranks."

However, Khorshid pointed out that Arab countries ranked relatively low in the research, development and innovation criteria in the index, with UAE ranking at 37 out of 131 countries. Saudi Arabia ranked 36 and Bahrain at 78.

"In general, the Arab countries are not highly ranked and not competing with countries like Switzerland or Sweden. But the Gulf area, in general, is best in research, innovation and development," he said. "And this comes from the fact that part of the index is related to the investment in these sectors. Given the fact, that the Gulf area has wealthy countries and are spending a lot in these sectors, this made their indicator higher."

Khorshid believes this index will aid policy makers in all of these ranked countries enhance their knowledge sector and implement more initiatives that will help grow this industry.

"We are moving towards knowledge society and era; and we need measurements so policy makers can evaluate their country," he said. "We decided to think about the components of the knowledge indicator and part of it is research innovation, another part is higher education, vocational educational, ICT and knowledge economy. These sectors contribute positively to generate these knowledge societies."

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com





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