UAE: Ministry relaxes university admission requirement for students

High school graduates who wish to enrol in varsities in the country can be granted conditional admission for one year


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File photo used for illustrative purposes
File photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 4:44 PM

Last updated: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 4:47 PM

Students seeking admission into UAE universities can be granted exemption from EmSAT requirements and bridging courses under a new circular issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE), it was announced on Tuesday.

The Emirates Standardised Test (EmSAT) is a national system of computer-based tests that assess graduates of private and public schools within and outside the country. Results of this exam are among those that have to be submitted to get admitted into UAE universities.

With the MoE's Circular No. 137 for 2022, high school graduates can be exempted from this requirement and get conditional admission.

To be eligible, they will have to submit a 'Letter of No Objection to be Conditionally Admitted', and complete one academic year at the college or university to be granted final admission.

Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, said: "The new circular defines clear and flexible paths for students that enable them to obtain final admission to higher education institutions in the country if they successfully pass an academic year. This serves students’ interest, and upgrades the university education system in the country and improves its competitiveness and quality.”


The circular was issued following a comprehensive study, during which the educational certificate equivalency process and inadequacies were reviewed, the minister added.

"(The ministry also) gathered the opinions and observations of students and faculty of higher education institutions."

According to the circular, in the case of Admission Conditional on Equivalency of Secondary School Certificate, the higher education institution may grant the student final admission if the student provides equivalency issued by the MoE for the Secondary School Certificate, passed the bridging courses specified in the “Letter of No Objection to be Conditionally Admitted” issued by the MoE, or passes at least 24 credit hours (one academic year) in the major they are enrolled in.

In cases where the student does not fulfil any of the requirements by the end of the Conditional Admission Period, the higher education institution may cancel the admission, or extend the period for one semester.

Additionally, the circular emphasises that higher education institutions are required to submit a report to the ministry at the beginning and end of each semester on students who have been granted Admission Conditional on Equivalency of Secondary School Certificate. The report must include data on the student, student results, the student's cumulative average, and the higher education institution’s decision regarding the student’s status.

The Ministry of Education continues to work on improving school education and higher education systems in the country in line with students’ needs and aspirations, and with the aim of enhancing education quality to meet the labour market’s requirements.


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