Quenching thirst for knowledge
Dubai is emerging as a hub with growing demand for higher education
With Dh6.8 billion of tuition revenues during the 2016/2017 academic year, Dubai's private K12 education market remains one of the most attractive and fastest growing markets in the world, according to a report published by Colliers International, a global commercial real estate leader and a leading business advisor in the healthcare, education and PPP sectors in the region.
Similar to K12 education, higher education in the emirate has been steadily increasing with enrolments in Dubai rising from 33,500 in 2011/12 to 46,000 in 2015/16, a CAGR of 8.4 per cent, the report said.
The supporting factors identified include the growing population, the popularity of Dubai with students from neighbouring emirates, and the variety of institutions available. There has also been an increasing preference towards international higher education institutes amongst Emirati parents and professionals seeking to complete their higher education while working in the emirate. However, the higher education sector still offers a number of opportunities for investors and operators to grow, as currently, only 15 per cent of total K12 students attend private universities in Dubai.
The publication highlights the regulatory framework and relevant authorities governing the sector in the UAE and Dubai with a subsequent focus on crucial demand /supply analysis, market gap assessment in line with the 2021 vision and challenges/opportunities for operators and investors entering Dubai's lucrative higher education sector. Also discussed is the emergence of special economic zones, how they positively impact the growth of private higher education in the emirate, the different types of Higher Education Providers (HEPs) and their role in promoting higher education in Dubai.
Business-related courses remain the most popular choice in Dubai, followed by engineering and agriculture, media and design, with approximately 80 per cent of undergraduate students paying Dh25,000 to Dh65,000 per annum and 70 per cent of postgraduate students paying between Dh50,000 to Dh110,000 per annum.
Mansoor Ahmed, Director at Colliers International MENA, commented: "During the academic year 2015/2016, over 60,000 students were enrolled in 56 HEPs in Dubai, including both full-time and half-time students. Of these, 76 per cent or 46,000 were enrolled in private institutions. This supports Dubai's' drive into this critical sector with the aim to become a leading player regionally and internationally as over one-third of students come from abroad with 56 per cent from Asian countries and 30 per cent from the MENA region."
He adds: "The number of universities in Dubai has grown from just three to 62 in the last three decades, including 33 international universities from 12 countries such as Australia, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Based on historical growth, Dubai is expected to require an estimated 68,000 student places of which 50,000 are expected to be in the private sector by 2025."
Several well-known universities from the UK have established themselves in Dubai. Of these, is the London Business School, located in the purpose-built Dubai International Financial Centre Academy that offers the Executive MBA programme for mid-level executives who wish to transform themselves into multi-skilled business leaders. Also, the University of Birmingham Dubai provides opportunities for talented students to access education of the highest standards in Dubai supported by its robust research pedigree. The University of Birmingham is acknowledged for producing globally employable graduates.
DIAC Academic Partners:
Abu Dhabi University Dubai Campus (ADU)
American University in the Emirates (AUE)
Amity University Dubai Campus
BITS, Pilani - Dubai Campus
ESMOD French Fashion Institute
Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus
Hult International Business School
Imam Malik College
Institute of Management Technology, Dubai
Islamic Azad University (IAU)
Manchester Business School
Manipal University, Dubai
MENA College of Management
Michigan State University Dubai
Middlesex University Dubai
Murdoch University Dubai
S P Jain School of Global Management
SAE Institute Dubai
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Dubai (SZABIST)
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) Dubai Campus
Université Saint Joseph Law School - Dubai
University of Birmingham
University of Bradford
University of Exeter
University of Wollongong in Dubai
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