Events at UOWD
The market route to higher education in UAE: its rationales and implications
Externalities with regards to higher education have increasingly being debated across the world, with many countries shifting part of the higher education responsibility to the individuals on the premise that it generates private benefits. The transformation of higher education from elite to mass system and inability of the government to shoulder the ever increasing burden of higher education; is cited as one of the reasons for adopting the market route to higher education and treating students as consumers. This consumerist turn to higher education has raised concerns about quality, critical pedagogy and the perception amongst employers that graduates lack skills. The market of higher education in UAE is relatively free, and with the proliferation of higher education institutions consumers have fair choice in deciding whether to pursue their education at public, private or University Branch Campuses (IBC). Purpose of this study is to evaluate the market of higher education in UAE as there are now questions about the viability and quality of such institutions.
This exploratory study is intended to give insights about the effectiveness of market route in UAE by soliciting the employer’s perceptions of different institutions and preparation of students for employment. The study revealed that the employers prefer graduates from public universities or IBC’s as compared to private ones citing the concerns of quality of the graduates coming out of the private institutions. The policy implications for state and universities are discussed.