The UAE has the highest net flow ratio of inbound and outbound students compared to other Arab countries, according to data released by UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS).
The UAE has around 34, 122 inbound students against 7,719 outbound students, the data showed. Inbound students are the overseas students studying in the country while outbound students are those from the UAE studying abroad.
These figures have put the UAE’s net flow ratio of inbound and outbound students at the top.
Qatar had the second highest ratio of inbound and outbound students among the Arab countries at 9.7. However, the figure dipped lower in countries such as Tunisia where the ratio was -4.5 while Lebanon and Morocco’s student flow ratio amounted to 5.4 and -8.1 respectively.
According to a survey by Dubai International Academic City and Deloitte last year, the UAE was ranked the fourth most attractive education destination in the world for students looking to pursue their studies abroad.
It found that the country is also the favoured education destination among emerging market economies – beating China, Singapore and Australia.
The study, which surveyed 2,400 students and a set of companies across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, stated that the UAE is “recognised for its strength in science, finance, economics and management.”
Within the UAE, the majority of the students identified Dubai as their most likely study destination.
At least 60 per cent of the corporate entities interviewed also stated that Dubai’s positioning as a centre of higher education was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
The UAE is one of the fastest growing private education markets in the world with a value of $1.9 billion in 2012.
It is also rated the most expensive country, among the emerging economies, in which to pursue a university education.
A study by HSBC last year revealed that the cost of studying in the UAE amounts to an average of $27,375 per year including university fees and living expenses, which is equivalent to around 51 per cent of GDP per person.