UAE University improves ranking among world's top 500 colleges

UAE University, the country’s first national university, has improved its standing among the world’s top 500 universities, a new report shows.

The UAEU, which has nine faculties and 12,500 students enrolled in the fall 2011/2012 programme, has improved its global ranking from 378 last year to 338 this year in the QS Top 500 Universities listing this year.

A research-based university, UAEU provides research solutions to support the UAE and, through its global partners, the wider world.

The QS World University Rankings currently considers over 2,000 and evaluates over 700 universities in the world, ranking the top 500.

Compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit, the ranking applies six broad indicators with different weightages to arrive at a composite score. These include academic reputation (40 per cent), employer reputation (10%), citations per faculty (20%), faculty student ratio (20%), proportion of international students (5%) and proportion of international faculty (5%).

In addition, rankings in five broad faculty areas are produced: Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, Life Sciences & Medicine, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences & Management.

The Abu Dhabi-based university scores a perfect 100 on the ‘International Faculty’ parameter, landing it the top rank within that parameter. It also scores highly on ‘International Students’ parameter (90.3), earning it 67th spot among 500 global universities on that indicator.

[Read more on outstanding Dubai schools]

Overall, England’s University of Cambridge tops the global league, followed by America’s Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University, while England’s University of Oxford rounds up the Top 5 universities worldwide.

Why study in UAE

In an insightful piece published on TopUniversities.com, Jean-Yves de Cara, the executive director of the Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, lists six reasons why more international students should consider studying in the emirate.

1. Location, location, location

The UAE is positioned strategically within a five-hour flight away from half of the world’s population, bridging Asia to the rest of the world. Wherever you’re from, you’re going to find it pretty easy to find a flight home when the university holidays come.

2. One of the best places to live in the Middle East

It is no accident that both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been consistently ranked as the two best cities to live in within the Middle East.

An open and tolerant society, coupled with one of the lowest crime rate worldwide, has also made this a destination of choice.

Furthermore, the government has ensured the highest quality education and healthcare facilities, and has been successful in attracting countless cultural performances, sporting and entertainment events.

3. Multi-cultural environment

People of more than 120 nationalities live in the UAE, making the country a true melting-pot, of which Abu Dhabi City is the capital. The emirate also attracts international institutions, and is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and CNN Middle East regional headquarters.

In an increasingly globalised economy, Abu Dhabi’s multi-cultural society offers students a unique window to the world, and an international environment for their minds to flourish.

4. Abu Dhabi’s top international and local universities

As Abu Dhabi is moving from an oil-based economy to one driven by innovation and knowledge, the emirate has invited internationally recognised educational institutions to contribute to the growth of the next generation, and to support the nation’s economic development.

Today, leading universities offer programs or have set up university branch campuses in Abu Dhabi, including INSEAD, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, and Paris-Sorbonne.

These world-class universities complement the existing, local Abu Dhabi universities, such as Zayed University and the United Arab Emirates University, all contributing to position Abu Dhabi as a leading education hub for the Gulf region, and in many cases the wider world.

5. Political stability

The UAE has set a precedent in the region for political stability, safety and security, which has been recognised internationally. A member of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, the UAE made a noticeable contribution to the G-20 summit in Cannes last year, and enjoys good diplomatic relations worldwide.

 At home the UAE is implementing a number of economic, social, cultural, environmental and political reforms, which have also been lauded internationally.

6. Abu Dhabi’s economic opportunities

Over the last decade, Abu Dhabi has been consistently among the world’s fastest growing economies. The government’s Economic Vision 2030 aims to diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy away from oil and gas, into strategic, sustainable and high added-value sectors such as education, healthcare, media, renewable energy, logistics, aerospace and industry. This will offer a larger scope of opportunities to nationals and residents alike.

Dubai's B-schools made it to FT's Top-100 MBA list

Two of Dubai’s prestigious business schools feature in the top 100 business schools ranking of Financial Times 2012.

Hult International Business School, with one of its campuses in Dubai, has been ranked as the 65th best business school in the world. The ranking has fallen from last year’s level (it had a 61st position in 2011) but still shows a marked improvement from 2010, when it was rated as the top 94th B-school in the world. The rankings show that the current salary (US$) of graduates from this school is $100,747.

The programmes offered at the Dubai campus include MBA, Executive MBA, Master of International Business and Master of International Marketing.

Second B-school from the emirate is SP Jain Center of Management. The institute has seen a considerable drop in its rating from 68th in 2011 to 91 this year. The rankings show that the current salary (US$) of graduates from the school is $78,937.

SP Jain offers Global BBA, Global MBA, Executive MBA and Executive Education Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA).

The top 10 Global MBAs for 2012 as ranked by the Financial Times:

1. Stanford Graduate School of Business (US)

2. Harvard Business School (US)

3. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (US)

4. London Business School (UK)

5. Columbia Business School (US)

6. Insead (France/Singapore)

7. MIT: Sloan (US)

8. IE Business School (Spain)

9. Iese Business School (Spain)

10. Hong Kong UST Business School (China)

London Business School remain the top ranking business school from UK and Europe, though were knocked off the top spot by Stanford Graduate School of Business of the US. Other notables include HEC Paris (France) at 18th and Warwick Business School (UK) at 27th.

The Financial Times rankings take into consideration factors such as the average percentage increase in salary a business school alumni receives after graduation, the weighted average alumni salary, recommendations from business school alumni and the percentage of graduates who found employment within three months of graduation. These and many more details collected in the rankings can give you an idea of what to expect when choosing your business school.

Sharjah school revamp: private tuitions affected

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered all schools in the emirate to emulate the model schools in Sharjah, according to Dr Abdullah Al Sawaijy, chairman of the Sharjah Education Board.

Dr Sawaijy said revamping of Sharjah schools will begin in 2013 and will be completed in three phases of five years each.

Primary education will be revised in the first phase. The second and third phases will cover the preparatory and secondary stages respectively. The three-phase plan will be completed in 2028.

This was decided by the Sharjah Executive Council during a discussion about plans of the Sharjah Education Board.

Dr Sawaijy stressed the importance of eliminating private tuition which he said would happen only by localising the teaching profession.

Ali Al Hawsani, director of the department of model schools in the emirate, said Sharjah had pioneered the spread of model schools since 1998 when there were only six model schools, making up seven per cent of the total number of schools, in the emirate.

Aisha Saif, Secretary-General of the Sharjah Education Board, said Dh4,000 will be the tuition fee for enrollment in the primary stage. The fees for the preparatory and secondary stages will be Dh5,000 and Dh6,000 respectively.

Dubai allows private schools to hike fees between 3 to 6%

Dubai schools rated “outstanding” will be allowed to hike fee by six per cent this year, said Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the education regulatory authority.

The new school fee framework for Dubai’s private school is based on a fresh framework based on quality of education (as per Dubai Schools Inspection results) and an Educational Cost Index (ECI) calculated by the Dubai Statistics Centre.  The framework was developed in cooperation with Department of Economic Development, Department of Finance, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, Dubai Statistics Centre, the Dubai Executive Council and KHDA, the statement said.

KHDA said in a statement that schools achieving a “good” ranking will be allowed to raise fees by 4.5 per cent and three per cent to schools rated “acceptable” and “unsatisfactory” for the academic year 2012-2013.

Mohammed Darwish, chief of Regulations and Compliance Commission said: “The framework prioritises the interests of students and parents and encourages investment in the education sector by allowing schools to develop long term growth plans, as well as motivating existing schools to improve the quality of education they offer. The framework is evidence-based work and relies on data about the education landscape in Dubai. It is in line with KHDA’s remit to support schools in providing quality education.”

The framework also regulates registration and admission deposits as well refund policies for new and current students.

“While all of Dubai’s private schools will fall under generic conditions of the framework, non-profit schools and those schools planning to invest in their infrastructure that would lead to improvements in quality and directly benefit students academically will be considered for exceptions. The specific conditions for this have been identified in the framework. Individual applications from schools will be reviewed by KHDA, as will the cases for students with special needs,” KHDA said in a statement today.

Those schools who’re allowed to hike fee will not able be permitted for another hike over the next three years. However, those schools who opened after 2008 cannot hike the fee either.

 [Image via Shutterstock]