Dubai: Colleges report 3.6% increase in student enrolment


International higher education institutions in Dubai reported significant growth in student numbers, according to new data revealed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Dubai’s international higher education institutions reported annual enrollment growth of 3.6 per cent, with more than 29,000 students currently enrolled in university programmes. This data was released in a new infographic by KHDA titled, ‘Growth, strength and possibility in Dubai’s private education sector.’

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Director General of KHDA said, “The growth and diversity in programme choices offered by international universities in the emirate, and the sustained growth in international student enrolment highlights Dubai’s ability to consistently deliver high-quality education and builds on our commitment to create better education choices that offer families and investors new possibilities.”

The surge in student numbers at international higher education institutions is largely driven by an increase in international students travelling to Dubai for better higher education choices. Dubai is currently home to 34 international higher education institutions that provide more than 600 programmes, with one in four students coming from outside the UAE (28 per cent), a statement issued said.

Top programmes

Business, Information Technology, and Engineering remain the top three programme choices for students. IT saw the biggest increase in student enrolments at international universities in Dubai in the last five years. Enrolment in IT saw a 5.8 per cent increase compared with the 2017/ 2018 academic year, followed by Law and Humanities (1.53 per cent). Health medicine also witnessed a 1.51 per cent increase in the number of enrolments during the same period.

This is part of a series of infographics on Dubai’s private education sector for the 2021/2022 academic year. Additional infographics will offer key data on each phase of Dubai’s private education sector, including schools and early childhood centres, to give investors, operators, educators, and parents insights into each sector.


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Dubai’s international higher education institutions sector:

>> 34 universities and higher education institutions

>> 29,168 students

>> 609 programmes

>> 3.6 per cent increase in higher education student enrolment

>> 28% of higher education students in Dubai are international students coming to the city for the purpose of study.