This year has seen a big change for Emirati students in Dubai as the emirate’s 27 free zone universities and colleges, which are overseen by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), were given the same status as those accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Previously, while students at ministry-accredited universities were guaranteed government jobs, those at KHDA-accredited institutions were not, so many Emiratis were reluctant to study there. “Now, the students can all be guaranteed employment,” said Dr Warren Fox, the head of higher education at the KHDA.
This is good news for both Emiratis and employers, who now have a larger pool of graduates to choose from.
“An increasing number of Emirati students are turning to non-federal institutions and now all the campuses are available to them, opening up many more options,” he added.
Dubai has the largest number of foreign branch campuses in the world, offering 400 degrees.