Dubai International Academic City
Dubai International Academic City is home to most of the private higher education providers Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Private higher education institutions licensed and regulated in Dubai by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai (KHDA) have reported a significant increase in student enrolment, up by 12 per cent since the previous academic year, as per the latest data revealed by the regulatory body.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

New data released by KHDA showed that the total number of students currently enrolled in Dubai’s private higher education institutions is 34,893 students. The number of international students—those who have come to Dubai specifically for their studies—has surged by 25 per cent, nearly doubling the count of new enrolments compared to the previous academic year. International students now represent one-third of all students enrolled at private higher education institutions in Dubai.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, five new international universities were inaugurated, increasing the total count of higher education providers licensed by KHDA to 38.

read more

Aisha Miran, Director-General of KHDA, said: “The record growth in student enrolment in Dubai’s private higher education sector aligns with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to make the city a leading global hub for higher education. The increase in international student enrolment particularly reflects the city’s position as a preferred choice for students worldwide seeking quality education opportunities.”

Miran added: “The expanding variety of programmes offered by our universities cater to a wide range of student ambitions, attracting future leaders and nurturing a hub for knowledge and innovation. We are committed to working with university leaders to further strengthen higher education options in Dubai, and we look forward to welcoming new internationally accredited universities to the emirate.”

The higher education landscape infographic by KHDA features comprehensive data on Dubai’s higher education sector, including details on higher education providers, students, programmes, faculty, and fields of research.

International universities in Dubai offer over 650 programmes, with degrees in business, engineering, information technology, and media and design being the most sought-after among students. Programmes in natural and physical sciences, humanities, and law have experienced the highest growth in student enrolment compared to the previous academic year.

The data also shows that the majority of students, comprising 63 per cent, are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, while 28 per cent are enrolled in a master’s programme, and two percent are working towards a doctorate.

Key findings

• 34,893 students enrolled in private higher education institutions in Dubai

• 38 higher education institutions regulated by KHDA in Dubai

• 12 per cent increase in student enrolment

• 25 per cent increase in international students