x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Federal universities 'need expansion funds'

The Minister of Higher Education says a funding formula to ensure institutions can expand needs to be introduced.

A funding formula to ensure federal universities can expand should be introduced as soon as possible, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research has said. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak said it was of the "utmost importance" to approve a new formula that linked funding to the number of qualified students. This would allow institutions to expand when, as is predicted, more Emiratis reach university age over the coming decade. The minister made the comments as he approved admissions to Zayed University, the Higher Colleges of Technology and UAE University. A total of 13,102 students were yesterday confirmed as having won scholarships abroad or places at the three institutions, slightly down on last year's record figure of 13,315.

UAE University in Al Ain will admit 3,146 students, the Higher Colleges of Technology will admit 7,423 and Zayed University will admit 1,813. Scholarships to study overseas were approved for 550 undergraduates, 160 postgraduates and 10 students with special needs. Of the students admitted, 37.8 per cent were male and 62.2 per cent female, reflecting a long-running imbalance that has led to concern that too few men are at university, leading to potential shortfalls of men to take up leadership positions in future. For the second year, a one-off funding increase has meant that every Emirati who did well enough in the Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (Cepa) examinations has been able to secure a place at one of the institutions. dbardsley@thenational.ae