Ministry of Education Unveils Top Research Universities in the UAE

Ministry of Education Unveils Top Research Universities in the UAE

The UAE Ministry of Education recently announced the top five research universities in the UAE, as part of a new classification system aimed at fostering growth and innovation.

These universities—American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and New York University Abu Dhabi—are all listed in the “outstanding category.”

Focus on Growth and Innovation

The evaluation measures used in this classification are aligned with a national agenda that emphasizes growth and innovation.

During the media roundtable event for The National Higher Education Institutions Classification Framework, Dr. Sameera Almulla, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Curriculum Sector and Director of Certificate Equivalency Department at the Ministry of Education, highlighted the purpose of the classification system. She explained that the current phase focuses on research universities, with non-research universities to be classified in the coming weeks.

Classification Criteria

The UAE’s classification framework places a strong emphasis on scientific research, innovation, and teaching quality, each accounting for 35% of the evaluation criteria.

Employment and job market alignment make up 20%, while international collaborations constitute 10%. This approach is designed to raise the standards of educational institutions, promote best academic practices, and enhance the overall student experience.

Research and Non-Research Institutions

The framework categorizes institutions into two main groups: research institutions, which offer postgraduate studies alongside bachelor programs, and non-research institutions, which provide bachelor’s or lower-level studies only.

Institutions are further classified into one of four levels within each category: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, and Satisfactory. The framework excludes institutions established within the last five years, those exclusively offering master's and doctoral programs, and universities with revoked or suspended licenses.

Benefits for Students and Institutions

Dr. Mohammad Al Mualla, Undersecretary for Higher Education Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Education, emphasized that this classification system will help students and parents make informed decisions regarding higher education and career alignment with the job market. The classification results, available on the Ministry of Education website, also provide universities with insights to guide their development and improvement plans.

National Strategy and Global Rankings

Al Mualla noted that the national strategy for higher education, launched in 2017, has led to consistent improvements in the quality of education in the UAE. However, he pointed out that global rankings do not always prioritize the metrics specific to the UAE’s national interests. The new national classification framework addresses this gap by considering over 150 classification standards tailored to the UAE’s context.

Detailed Rankings

The research universities in the UAE are classified into four groups:

  • Outstanding (Group 1): American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, New York University Abu Dhabi.
  • Very Good (Group 2): Abu Dhabi University, American University in Dubai, The British University in Dubai, Al Sharekah University, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Zayed University, Ajman University, University of Wollongong in Dubai.
  • Good (Group 3): American University in the Emirates, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Emirates College for Educational Development, Gulf Medical University, Sorbonne University, Al Ain University, Canadian University in Dubai, Institute of Business Administration Technology in Dubai, University of Dubai, Dubai College of Pharmacy, Raydan Academy, Saint Joseph University Dubai.
  • Satisfactory (Group 4): Horizon University College, Emirates Aviation University, Imam Malik College of Islamic Sharia and Law, University of Fujairah, City University Ajman, Al Wasl University, Jumeirah University, Ras Al Khaimah University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Moving Forward

The UAE’s Ministry of Education will update the classifications annually, ensuring that the higher education landscape continues to evolve and improve. This system not only reflects the national priorities but also aligns with global best practices, positioning UAE’s educational institutions for greater success and recognition on the world stage.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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