As COVID-related border closures across countries fall like dominoes, students exploring their study abroad options shouldn’t look over universities in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). The country is home to quality universities (10 of its universities are listed in the QS World University Rankings 2022), diverse programmes and an attractive long-term visa for outstanding students.
According to the Khaleej Times, government initiatives to attract more international students are bearing fruit. Dubai, for instance, has 34 international higher education institutions; one in four students are from outside the UAE. The country is also home to 60 international university campuses.
It said that Dubai’s international higher education institutions reported an annual enrolment growth of 3.6%, with more than 29,000 students enrolled in university programmes.
Cementing Dubai’s appeal as a study destination includes its diversity of international universities’ programmes and the sustained growth in international student enrolment, said Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of the emirate’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
Universities in the UAE growing thanks to government support
According to the report, e-learning in the UAE is growing, thanks to increasing government investment to digitalise the education sector and positive student attitude towards remote classes.
Higher Education UAE co-founder and chief strategy officer Dr. Ajay Shukla said India is the largest country of origin of foreign degree-seeking students in the UAE. The number of Indians enrolled in degree programmes at universities in the UAE has increased by 50% since 2011.
“As per UNESCO, Indians make up 17% (13,370 students in 2016) of all international students. Other countries from the region, such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Oman, send over 5,000 students, followed by Pakistan,” he was quoted saying.
Universities in the UAE can also serve as a good option for students from countries such as Iraq, Egypt and Syria.
“(These students) are facing challenges not only within their home countries but also at ‘Western’ higher education hubs where securing visas and cost of education are daunting,” he told the portal.
“In this context, the UAE is positioned well to boost higher education enrolments from these markets due to more affordable study options, liberal student visa regime and a relatively thriving employability market coupled with liberal work visas,” he said.
The appeal of a UAE student visa
While universities in the UAE offer international students a quality education, another appeal is their long-term visa for outstanding students.
- Graduate with a grade of at least 95% from secondary schools, whether public or private
- University students must graduate with a distinctive GPA of at least 3.75 from universities within and outside the country
The UAE government website also notes that visa benefits will also include families of outstanding students.