A board set up to ensure academic standards are maintained in Dubai's education free zones has begun reviewing its first licence applications. The University Quality Assurance International Board, launched earlier this year, is considering 16 universities and will deliver its verdicts in January. The board, part of Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority, will then deal with applications from the remaining institutions already operating and universities looking to open.
There are more than 25 branches of overseas higher education institutions in Dubai's education free zones - Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City (DIAC). These cater to about 10,000 students, but the population of DIAC alone is expected to grow to about 40,000 in the coming decade. The total student population in Dubai, including institutions outside the free zones, is expected to grow from 24,000 last year to 90,000 in 2010.
If institutions do not meet quality standards, their licences may be renewed with conditions and a recommendation that improvements are made within a specified time period. email@example.com