Engineering students at Heriot-Watt University Dubai familiarise themselves with equipment during class. The UAE needs more such engineers; Abu Dhabi itself will require 250,000 of them by 2020 Image Credit: Corbis

Dubai: The names and ratings of first-ever Dubai ratings of 17 branch campuses of international universities have been revealed by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Wednesday.

It follows Tuesday’s announcement that KHDA has launched a new Dubai Higher Education Classification system, based on quality ratings.

According to the first-ever ratings, three institutions achieved 5-star rating, eight institutions achieved 4-star rating, three institutions received 3-star rating, two achieved 2-star rating and one received a star-rating.

In the first phase, 17 out of 25 institutions have been evaluated; covering 282 programmes studied by 16,517 students (51.5 per cent of students enrolled in international branch campuses in Dubai).

Universities are evaluated on eight quality indicators and awarded an overall star ranging from 1 to 5+ stars, depending on the number of points achieved in the evaluation. The overall score will be based on individual indicators — allowing students to match their interests with education providers that are strong in topics that interest them.

Overall Ratings

1 The University of Manchester Worldwide 5 Stars

2 London Business School 5 Stars

3 Heriot-Watt University 5 Stars

4 S P Jain School of Global Management 4 Stars

5 Amity University Dubai 4 Stars

6 Manipal University 4 Stars

7 Hult International Business School 4 Stars

8 City, University of London 4 Stars

9 Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani (Bits Pilani) Dubai Campus 4 Stars

10 University of Bradford 4 Stars

11 Middlesex University Dubai 4 Stars

12 SAE Institute 3 Stars

13 University of Exeter 3 Stars

14 Murdoch University, Dubai 3 Stars

15 ESMOD French Fashion Institute 2 Stars

16 Islamic Azad University 2 Stars

17 Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology 1 Star

What are the eight quality indicators?






Overall Programme Strength


Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness

Points-based ratings

100 points: 1-star

250 points: 2-star

400 points: 3-star

550 points: 4-star

700 points: 5-star