Education in the UAE
The UAE has already spent about 25% of public revenue on education in the aim to advance the quality and reputation of its academic system. Literacy has reached 90% and, while forty years ago the country only had one university, in 2015 it has over 130 institutes of higher education. 95% of women and 80% of men went on to study at university last year. There are currently approximately 34,000 international students in the UAE.
Primary and secondary education
Education is free from kindergarten to university for UAE citizens and compulsory for children ages
The UAE education system is divided into the following levels:
- Kindergarten from 4 to 5 years old
- Primary school from 6 to 11 years old
- Preparatory school from 12 to 14 years old
- Secondary School from 15 to 17 years old.
Upon completing secondary school, pupils obtain a leaving certificate. Alternatively, pupils can choose to attend a technical secondary school (
There are three public and over 130 private and international universities in the UAE. The campuses of international universities are concentrated in special areas such as “Knowledge Village” and “Academic City” in Dubai as well as “University City” in Sharjah. There are branches of UK, US, German, Spanish, French and Australian universities in the UAE.
The UAE top universities
|American University of Sharjah (AUS)||Sharjah|
|United Arab Emirates University||Al Ain|
|Khalifa University||Abu Dhabi|
|The American University
in Dubai (AUD)
|The University of Sharjah||Sharjah|
|Abu Dhabi University||Abu Dhabi|
There are quotas on foreign citizens studying in public universities: 8% for the Gulf States and 7% for all remaining nations. However, private and international universities accept students on
Each private university has its own requirements for foreign applicants, which generally include a TOEFL or IELTS score of at least 540 or 6.5 respectively.
- application form (via university website)
- secondary education certificate copy, translated into English and notarised
- transcripts for the last three years of secondary school
- 4 photos
- passport copy
- TOEFL/IELTS scores
- application handling fee (about $100).
Average tuition fees are
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