Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

UAE's education system is a model for UK, says consul general

The emirate's diverse education sector could serve as a model for far-reaching reforms being introduced in the UK, the British consul general has said.

DUBAI // The emirate's diverse education sector could serve as a model for far-reaching reforms being introduced in the UK, the British consul general said.

The shake-up of UK schools is being led by Michael Gove, Britain's secretary of state for education.

"In some ways Dubai is a model for the UK system, because what Michael Gove's education reforms are trying to achieve is a freer market for education where you can choose the kind of education that suits you and your child," said the consul general, Edward Hobart.

"Maybe your child is more suited to a classical grammar school education or ... a vocational or a drama or an arts education.

"The diversity of education offering in Dubai is in some ways quite similar. You can buy a British, American, French, Indian, Pakistani, Iranian, et cetera, et cetera, education here, but it's all regulated to a common standard."

He said the aim of the UK reforms was to provide a diverse choice of schools. "I think that model and the Dubai model have some things in common. It's a fast-growing sector, it's a young country, it's got a growing economy."

Education is a subject close to Mr Hobart's heart as he and his wife Suzie, who have three children, were among the co-founders of a school in the UK. The West London Free School is one of a new breed funded by public money but free from local authority control.

The concept is based on the charter schools idea that was developed in the United States and Sweden.

"My wife is now engaged in two school projects here using the skills she developed in setting up a free school," said Mr Hobart.

He said the UAE and the UK were very keen to push forward the education agenda.

"This is critically important to Emiratisation, to developing the young population of the UAE. The UK is a global leader in education at all levels and there is a lot of British education here ... and more are opening," he said.

"So we want to ensure we have the right approach to education which gives the UAE what it needs for its future and brings out the right bits of the UK system."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

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.

 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.

 Roberto Martinez is daring Everton to dream. Paul Ellis / AFP

Martinez v Moyes is a clash of purist v puritan

Roberto Martinez’s positivity made him the perfect choice in 2013 to manage Everton and to build on the solid foundations David Moyes had left.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National