Development of the Higher Education in the UAE Challenges and Current Achievements

Aizhan Shomotova, Tatiana Karabchuk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter is dedicated to the analysis of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) higher education development and current achievements from the perspective of the country’s mission for a knowledge economy, national human resources enhancement, female empowerment and sustainable development goals achievement. The chapter explores both the research and teaching productivity in the UAE. We start from the general descriptions of the higher education indicators among the Gulf Cooperation Council from a comparative perspective and discuss the development of higher education in the UAE from a historical perspective. The academic culture in the Gulf countries and the UAE, in particular, is the key to understanding the research and teaching development in the region. The literature review sheds light on the creation of the higher education institutions in the country and offers possible explanations of the current academic and teaching achievements. We disclose the UAE universities’ characteristics and discuss the higher education achievements based on the available official statistics. A special section of the chapter is devoted to the research productivity of higher education institutions’ indicators, based on the collected statistical data for the top 18 largest UAE universities. The main outcomes of the chapter are focused on the current state of the country’s educational level and achievements, including progress in research productivity. The effects of the considerable reforms in higher education within the last 15 years are also discussed here. Boosting research activities via opening more research centers and funding more group research projects, as well as focusing on doctoral education in the UAE might be the key to success in the research and teaching efficiency for the country. The chapter concludes with the policy implications of how to improve the quality of education and academic productivity in the higher education institutions in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Past, Present, and Future of Higher Education in the Arabian Gulf Region
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Comparative Perspectives in a Neoliberal Era
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781000644098
ISBN (Print)9780367503512
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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