Dubai universities record 12% annual growth in international students coming to emirate

A new infographic released by the KHDA revealed that the total number of students currently enrolled in university programmes exceeds 30,000

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 11:51 PM

Last updated: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 2:53 PM

International higher education institutions in Dubai reported an 8 per cent annual growth in the number of students enrolled, according to new data revealed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Additionally, the number of international students choosing Dubai to complete their higher education increased by 12 per cent, now comprising nearly a third of all students.

A new infographic released by the KHDA showed that the total number of students currently enrolled in university programmes exceeds 30,000.


The landscape infographic issued by the KHDA features comprehensive data on Dubai’s higher education sector, including details on international higher education providers, students, programmes, faculty and fields of research.

For the first time, available data on graduates showed that more than 80 per cent of students who graduated from a higher education institution in Dubai in the last two academic years were in employment or undertaking further study.


The number of programmes offered by international universities increased by 21 per cent in the last three academic years, with degrees in business, engineering and information technology proving the most popular among international students and Emiratis. Business, media studies, and information technology are featured in the top three programmes among students of determination.

Data from the current academic year also showed that 60 per cent of students are enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree, with 30 per cent studying for a Master’s and 2 per cent for a doctorate. Nearly 80 per cent of all students are enrolled on a full-time basis.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA, said that Dubai continues to strengthen its emergence as a leading destination for international higher education. “The rise in the number of international campuses opening in Dubai and the diversity of programmes available is attracting more international students to study in the city.

This progress speaks to [the] universities' quality of education and commitment to building a truly world-class higher education sector. We look forward to working with university leaders to further advance Dubai’s position as a regional and international higher education hub.”

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