The American University in the Emirates has been awarded accreditation for its bachelor's degree courses in the college of fine arts and design, college of mass media and communication, and college of business administration. The AUE, based in Dubai International Academic City, is a privately owned university that began courses in autumn 2007. It has 350 students and also offers a variety of postgraduate courses.
Being in a free zone, the university did not have to secure accreditation from the Education Ministry's Commission for Academic Accreditation. But such accreditation can increase the credibility of courses and attract more students. Some other free-zone institutions, including the University of Wollongong in Dubai, have also applied for and been granted ministry accreditation. Dr Muthanna Razzaq, the AUE president, said the university would in future look to secure international accreditation.
Some UAE-based universities, including Zayed University and the American University of Sharjah, have been awarded international accreditation from organisations including the US-based, non-governmental Middle States Commission on Higher Education. "This is definitely one of the main objectives, that international accreditation should be involved," Dr Razzaq said. He noted that universities may not apply until they have graduated two batches of students.