Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Emirati students warned: take care choosing a university

Employers rank local private universities lowest when hiring new graduates, study suggests.

ABU DHABI // Students who turn to local private universities because of pressure on places at federal institutions may struggle to find a good job, a new study suggests.

Employers unanimously prefer graduates who have studied abroad, followed by those from branches of overseas universities, then the federal universities and, in last place, local private universities.

"Private universities don't have a good reputation," said Dr Ali Bhayani, of the University of Wollongong Dubai, who surveyed 34 employers in various sectors for the study.

"Branch campuses did better. Employers felt they had better quality."

Hamza Zaouli, founder of Iris Executives and GovJobs.ae, which focuses on Emiratisation, said an overseas education gave Emiratis "a clearly pronounced difference in attitude and maturity".

About a quarter of the 120,000 Emirati students are at federal universities, and the number has been rising by about 20 per cent a year.

Straining under the pressure, federal universities have increased entry requirements.

More young people, having failed to meet those requirements and rejected a vocational alternative, are enrolling at private universities.

In Dubai, nearly 60 per cent of Emirati students attend private universities.

Some "useless" institutions ejected from Dubai because they failed to meet standards set by the regulator, the KHDA, had set up in unregulated free zones, Dr Bhayani said.

"There can't be fly-by-night universities operating in free zones where the students have worthless degrees," he said. "Sooner or later there needs to be uniform standards."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 A still from the 27-second black-and-white video that was taken using a satellite owned and operated by Skybox Imaging.

Burj Khalifa stars in HD video from space

A 27-second black and white video of a plane flying over Dubai's skyscrapers captures the imagination of some.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 JP Duminy played a cameo knock of 52 not out from 35 balls to tip the game in Delhi Daredevils' favour. Pawan Singh / The National

Kolkata Knight Riders lose way as Duminy sizzles for Delhi Daredevils

JP Duminy keeps his head as cameo at the death helps swing it in Delhi's favour in Dubai after captain Karthik plays the anchor role.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 The mother removes the noose with the help of her husband from around the neck of Balal.

In pictures: Mother forgives her son’s killer as he awaited his execution

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National