Private school enrolments in Dubai have almost doubled in the last decade, according to the latest figures from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, which is bullish that growth will continue into the next.
The number of international branch campuses operating worldwide hit 249 in 2015 after more than a decade of steady growth. China has overtaken the UAE as the country hosting the largest number of IBCs, while the US and Europe are driving growth.
Dubai’s first Chinese international school will open in around two years’ time, as new government statistics show the Emirate’s international schools sector continues to boom. Eleven new private schools have opened in Dubai this year and last year and annual fee revenue has reached 5.35bn AED (US$252m).
UAE-based alternative asset manager Gulf Capital has announced its first foray into the region's booming education sector with a US$30m investment in one of Dubai's international schools operators, Evolvence Knowledge Investments, to help finance two new schools in the Gulf.
The UK's higher education watchdog, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, has found only two of 11 UK campuses in the UAE are "readily recognisable" branch campuses. It has warned providers not to mislead students about what is being offered offshore and advises that providers "do more to introduce a UK academic culture".
A Canadian university campus in Dubai Knowledge Village that allowed an unlicensed Iranian university to operate from its premises has closed, leaving around 100 students to look for alternative campuses on which to complete their studies.