United Arab Emirates - Education

Education

Main article: Education in the United Arab Emirates
Literacy rate
Year Rate
1989 53.5%
2000 79%
2003 77.9%
2007 91%

Sources:

The education system through secondary level is monitored by the Ministry of Education. It consists of primary schools, middle schools and high schools. The public schools are government-funded and the curriculum is created to match the United Arab Emirates development's goals and values. The medium of instruction in the public school is Arabic with emphasis on English as a second language. There are also many private schools which are internationally accredited. Public schools in the country are free for citizens of the UAE, while the fees for private schools vary.

There has been significant improvement in private education across the UAE. This is particularly important given the fact that a relatively high percentage of students in the Emirates are enrolled in private schools: in Dubai 50% of all students are in private schools, while the number for Abu Dhabi stands at around 40%.

Many private international schools in the UAE are accredited by international bodies and there are currently 17 International Baccalaureate schools operating in the country, all of which have obtained approval from the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva to run their programs.

Reforms to special education are under way across the country. In 2006, the Cabinet passed the UAE Disabilities Act, a comprehensive law that requires public and private schools to provide equal access to all children. The law was subsequently amended in 2009 to replace references to disability with the phrase "special needs".

The higher education system is monitored by the Ministry of Higher Education. The ministry also is responsible for admitting students to its undergraduate institutions.

In 1983, EIBFS was established at Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. EIBFS i.e. Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Studies has been doing a pioneering work in the area of providing world class training and education in the area of finance, accounting, banking and insurance. The Institute has been established by the Government to provide world class manpower in the area of Banking and Finance. The institute has three campuses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and has excelled par excellence in the last three decades. The institute offers under-graduate programmes at Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi.

A recent survey showed that the illiteracy rate is on the decline in the UAE, and is now in the region of 7%. This is mainly owing to programmes that combat illiteracy amongst the adult population. Currently there are thousands of nationals pursuing formal learning at 86 adult education centres spread across the country.

In fall 2009, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) opened its doors to its first class of graduate students. The Dubai School of Government (DSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on good governance and public policy in the Middle East, launched its first masters program also in 2009. A number of foreign universities, from the Paris Sorbonne to Michigan State University, have opened campuses in the UAE. In February 2008, a branch of the New York Film Academy opened in Abu Dhabi; it launched its first bachelor’s degree program in 2010. In fall 2010 the opening of the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University (NYUAD) marked a new milestone. INSEAD, one of the world’s largest graduate business schools, has been operating a Middle East campus in Abu Dhabi since 2007, and now runs seven executive-education programs.

The Government has launched many programs and initiatives to improve the quality of education at schools across the country.

The UAE has shown a strong interest in improving education and research. Enterprises include the establishment of the CERT Research Centers and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and institute for enterprise development.

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