Education in the Arab Emirates: admission and requirements for UAE universities, the possibility of free education

United Arab Emirates


Education in the Arab Emirates: admission and requirements for UAE universities, the possibility of free education

Believe it or not, the UAE has more than 100 universities, and the number continues to grow. The local government's ambitious plans to transform the United Arab Emirates and Dubai into one of the academic centers of the 21st century seem to be coming to fruition. These universities offer both challenging research programs and more economically demanding applications. Middlesex University, Murdoch University, University of Wollongong, SAE, and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM), offer bachelor's and master's degrees and are internationally recognized institutions.

How to study in the Emirates

Entrance requirements to higher education institutions can vary greatly. There is another peculiarity of admission. Students wishing to study at a university in the UAE must either study at their home university for one year or complete a one-year introductory course of study upon graduation. In the United Arab Emirates, 12 years of secondary schooling is required, which makes up for the missing year.

The cost of studying in the UAE varies depending on the institution you choose. For example, a state university costs between $5,000 and $11,000 per year, while one of the branches of a British university will cost around $2,000. The cost of living is not included. 

Admission and Requirements in UAE Universities

The admission process to universities in the UAE is fully automated. Applicants need to fill in an application form on the website of the desired university and scan and attach their academic certificate, IELTS or TOEFL scores, and ID card. Depending on your academic performance, you may be admitted immediately direct) or placed on a waiting list. You must have a grade point average of 3 or higher out of 4. There are many discounts for those with excellent grades.

Knowledge of Arabic is not required, teaching is mainly in English. In addition, some institutions require you to have a medical examination and send the results (health certificate).

Required Documents

Foreign nationals will be required to submit a high school diploma for admission to the UAE. Consular legalization is required for the document to be valid in the UAE:

Make a notarized copy;

Notarised translation into Arabic or English;

Legalize the certificate at the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Legalize at the UAE Embassy.

Studying for a Master's Degree in the UAE

You must legalize your bachelor's degree obtained in your home country for admission. To do this, you need to:

Obtain an archive certificate from the university;

Notarize the copy of the diploma and the annex;

Get a notarized copy of the diploma and the annex; - get a notarized translation;

To have the documents certified by the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Legalize the documents at the UAE Embassy.

Be sure to get an archive reference from the university, as without this certificate the diploma will not be certified. For studies in the UAE, the diploma and its annexes should be legalized. The annex will be considered and paid for as a separate document.

Free tuition opportunity

In the Arab Emirates, higher education for all students is fee-paying and relatively expensive. Most universities strive to support students by offering various scholarships and tuition discounts. Scholarship applications are usually accepted when applying for university admission. The main criteria are an excellent school leaving certificate and a high IELTS score. The better your score, the better your chances of receiving a scholarship.

Another feature of higher education in the UAE is the so-called 'family grant', whereby discounts are applied to each family member when several brothers, sisters, and close relatives are studying at the same university at the same time.

Preparatory Programmes in the UAE

Some universities offer a one-year college preparatory program for high school graduates. Foundation courses can help you improve your English and learn the basics of college subjects. 

How to obtain UAE citizenship, how to obtain a residence permit in the UAE for investors, and what are the benefits of living in the Emirates for expats - read more here