The Ministry of Education has unveiled a new set of standards to be used for licensing higher education bodies in the UAE and accrediting their academic programmes. Scheduled to go into effect as of September 2019, the launch forms a component of the UAE’s National Strategy for Higher Education and serves to achieve the country’s ambitions for enhancing the quality and global reputation of its local higher education sector.
The new accreditation standards cover 11 academic and administrative aspects of higher education institutions, specifically: governance and administration; quality assurance; scientific and research activities; students; faculty; educational facilities; health, safety, and environment; legal compliance and public disclosure; educational resources; financial capacity and sustainability; and community service and integrity.
Detailed indicators have been put in place to measure each standard and provide a meticulous explanation of its requirements. One of the new standards, for instance, pertains to faculty members. It determines the ratio of faculty members to number of students in a particular discipline and the criteria for selecting faculty members according to the requirements of various specialisations within the university.
His Excellency Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi said: “With the new standards, we look forward to creating a positive environment at higher education institutions, where graduates leave with in-depth knowledge, having developed the necessary advanced skills to meet the requirements of the future. We are confident that the coming years will see more UAE universities join the ranks of the world’s top 100 universities, further enhancing the reputation of Emirati education and the opportunities it affords to students in the region and the world.”