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The age-old adage of the early bird getting the worm possibly holds true for student fraternities worldwide out prospecting for the best university options to look out for during the September 2023 intake. And what’s true for the world rings true for the UAE as well.

Home to some of the best global and local education institutions for higher studies, the UAE promotes high standards through its extensive selection of premier universities and colleges. However, despite the exhaustive list, admissions into these prestigious universities can be tough considering the increasing demand here in the UAE.

With parents and students therefore keen to explore best options at the earliest possible opportunity, university heads concur that the time to check out admissions for the September 2023 intake is now.

Give yourselves time

Sara Sleem, Associate Director of Admissions, American University in Dubai, believes choosing a university and field of study to be among the most important and challenging decisions for a student and his parents, and agrees that starting the research and selection process early can give them ample time to make the right decision.

Sara Sleem

“At AUD, we always look forward to attracting students who are learners, motivated and exhibit leadership and critical thinking along with a sense of organisation and responsibility demonstrated through applying at the right time and fulfilling the majority of the admissions requirements in terms of required standardised tests,” says Sleem. “We follow a rolling admission process, and hence admission decisions are shared in a timely manner as we receive applications, so early applicants have a better chance of securing a spot in their programme of choice.”

Alejandro Celli Diaz, Director of Marketing and Admissions, Murdoch University, agrees with Sleem on the time factor, emphasising why parents and students ought to start scouting for options now for the September 2023 intake.

“Starting your higher education is a big step in any student's life and warrants thorough research and understanding of the different programs and universities available in Dubai. This is the ideal time for students and parents to start visiting university campuses, meeting their faculty and learning more about the ethos and ideology behind their courses, curriculum and student engagement.

Alejandro Celli Diaz

“At Murdoch, we also offer special tuition fee waivers to students who apply and accept their place before our early acceptance deadlines.”

At Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Claire Roper-Browning, Regional Director for Marketing, Recruitment, Admissions and Communications points out a few more salient factors to consider.

Connecting early with admissions’ teams

“Aside from considerations relating to admission deadlines, there are several factors to consider as admission deadlines draw near. For example, students may need to take entrance exams and standardised tests such as the IELTS and SAT to get admitted into university,” says Roper-Browning. “This requires preparation ahead of time to receive the scores required for university admissions.

Claire Roper-Browning

“In addition, as the September 2023 intake approaches, students would need to finalise what they would like to major in. During this process, many prospective students find it helpful to connect with admissions’ teams and the relevant faculty to make a final decision about their preferred topics of study. Finally, for students applying from abroad, there are other actors to consider including visa requirements, financing, and scholarships.”

Securing an early admission to the university of choice allows the student to concentrate better on completing the grade 12 requirements in a successful manner, adds Sleem of AUD. “Apply as early as the beginning of your second term during your grade 12 year, and focus thereafter on achieving the best end-of-year results.”