Information for College Admissions Officers

The United Arab Emirates

Established on 2 December, 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al Khaimah, and Fujairah. The country is situated on the Arabian Gulf and shares a border with Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar. Since established, the UAE has experienced rapid economic growth to the point that it is now a major hub of trade and transportation in the Middle East. The unprecedented economic transformation that has taken place in the UAE has been largely funded by the judicious use of oil revenues. On the foundation of this resource, enormous strides have been made in economic development and the creation of a physical infrastructure. In addition, all available resources have been harnessed to provide an advanced social infrastructure, especially in education, health and social welfare.

The Education System

Education is considered to be a key element in promoting the necessary skills for social and economic development. Free education is provided for all UAE citizens. Approximately 2/3 of UAE citizens attend public schools, with the remaining third attending private schools that have been modeled after British and American prep schools.

The existing educational structure, which was established in the early 1970s, is a four-tier system that covers 14 years of education: kindergarten (4-5 years old); primary (6-11 years); intermediate (12-14 years) and secondary (15-17 years). Oversight of public and private education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.

Public school graduates receive the "High School Diploma" also known as "Al Thanawiyya Al Amma" with Arabic being the primary language of instruction.


About the scholarships

The Distinguished Students Scholarships (DSS) and the Study Abroad Scholarships (SASP) are granted annually by H.H the President of the U.A.E. These are the most prestigious scholarships in the country and are limited to an annual cohort of  fifteen to twenty of the best high school students who are drawn from an initial pool of five to six hundred candidates.

Since its inception in 1999, the scholarship program has been administered by the Scholarships Office (SCO), which is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The SCO’s main objective is to coordinate the scholarship program and to monitor the academic progress of the scholarship recipients during their period of study abroad. Through close academic monitoring, the SCO ensures that all DSS and SASP recipients maintain the high standards of the scholarship and adhere to their undertakings of academic excellence and dedication.

Among the requirements of the scholarship are that students maintain a 3.00 Grade Point Average, keep in close contact with the SCO as well as their school’s international student center, conduct themselves honorably as citizens as the UAE, and follow all university regulations.


Quotes of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan - The President of UAE

Educating the individual is this country’s most valuable investment. It represents the foundation for progress and development.

A true commitment to tapping all of the available work fields, combined with a high enthusiasm for acquiring knowledge, broadening horizons and benefiting from modern science is necessary for the UAE to succeed in taking a forward step into the 21st century.

In an effort to successfully build our nation, a large portion of this country’s income is invested in compensating opportunities for progress that may have passed us by, and in moving along with the progress of the developed countries in order to support our main aim of advancing the UAE and the UAE national.

Despite the educational achievements, the educational process is an ever-growing challenge in need of meticulous planning and rigorous efforts of program development in order to keep up with modern technology and the fast-paced technological advancement.

Quotes of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi about Education and Human Development

Education is a country’s single most important priority and investing in the educational development of the individual represents the only real investment.

Our educational development plans allow us to look forward to an even brighter future of generations capable of handling twice the responsibilities as a result of being founded on knowledge, learning and adherence to customs and traditions.

The true wealth of a nation lies in its youth…one that is equipped with education and knowledge and which provides the means for building the nation and strengthening its principles to achieve progress on all levels.

Every UAE national considers the founder of this country and leader of this nation his role model …and all nationals have responded to this leader’s call for progress and advancement thus making the UAE individual the backbone of the country’s development.

The future holds no place for those who lack knowledge and education.

Education is the priority of any nation that hopes to occupy a distinguished position among the countries of the world. It is the means by which it can build a strong generation, cautious of adhering to its customs and traditions and able to adjust to the ever-changing needs of our times and to the ever-developing technologies of the modern world.

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