Revealed: Top higher education institutions in Dubai and their ratings
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Revealed: Top higher education institutions in Dubai and their ratings

Revealed: Top higher education institutions in Dubai and their ratings

Six of the 17 institutions evaluated recorded a five-star rating


The results of the second annual Higher Education Classification (HEC) confirmed that none of the 17 branch campuses assessed scored the minimum one-star rating.

Instead, six of them recorded a five-star rating. These top-ranked institutions include: Heriot-Watt University; Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani (BITS Pilani) Dubai Campus; City, University of London; Manipal University; London Business School and Middlesex University Dubai.

Also, five institutions achieved a 4-star rating, four received a 3-star rating, while two received a 2-star rating.

The HEC results released by Dubai’s education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), has been developed in partnership with QS Quacquarelli Symonds and was adapted to meet the needs of branch campuses in Dubai.

“All universities in Dubai’s Free Zones are permitted by KHDA. However, universities accredited by the Ministry of Education were not included in the HEC as they are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), part of the UAE Ministry of Education,” the KHDA said on its website.

KHDA Higher Education Institution Rating Dubai

The number of institutions that received a five-star rating as part of the HEC calculation this year – those who secured a minimum of 900 points out of 1,000 points – has doubled over the last year.

In 2018, only three of them – Heriot-Watt University, London Business School and The University of Manchester Worldwide – secured the coveted five-star rating.

There were 16,657 students enrolled in the 17 institutions evaluated this year, which also had a total of 1,172 faculty members.

Of the 17 institutions, seven were from the UK, three each from India and Australia, and one each from France, USA, Iran and Pakistan.

The rating was based around the four core categories of Teaching, Research, Employability, and Internationalisation and other categories including programme strength, arts and culture as well as happiness and wellbeing.

According to the KHDA, there are over 30,000 university students studying in Dubai’s freezones – up from 12,000 that were registered in 2008.

“The Higher Education Classification is another step forward in the maturity of Dubai’s private higher education sector.  Students in Dubai and all over the world can refer to the HEC to identify what they value in higher education, and then to make more confident decisions about their future in Dubai. The HEC also gives branch campuses an opportunity to show their strengths. We’re grateful to our university partners for their cooperation in putting the HEC together,” said Dr Wafi Dawood, CEO of Strategy and Planning Sector at KHDA.

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