These are Dubai’s best higher education institutes; new ratings released


Seventy per cent of Dubai’s branch campuses have achieved four or five stars in the annual Higher Education Classification, which rates services and quality of education provided by higher education institutions in Dubai.

This year’s classification showed that six branch campuses achieved a 5-star rating, five achieved a 4-star rating, four received a 3-star rating, while two received a 2-star rating.

Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani (BITS Pilani) Dubai Campus; City, University of London; Heriot-Watt University; London Business School; Manipal University, and Middlesex University Dubai achieved the five-star rating.

The HEC ratings tool helps students and their parents make the right university choices for them by enabling them to compare university ratings on core categories such as teaching, research, employability and internationalisation. Other categories that influence the rating of a university include its facilities, the strength of its programmes and its efforts towards improving wellbeing, inclusion, innovation and the arts.

Dr Wafi Dawood, CEO of Strategy & Planning Sector at KHDA said, “The Higher Education Classification is another step forward in the maturity of Dubai’s private higher education sector. Students in Dubai and all over the world can refer to the HEC to identify what they value in higher education, and then to make more confident decisions about their future in Dubai. The HEC also gives branch campuses an opportunity to show their strengths. We’re grateful to our university partners for their cooperation in putting the HEC together.”

The ratings have been jointly developed in partnership with QS Quacquarelli Symonds and adapted to meet the needs of branch campuses in Dubai. Seventeen branch campuses across Dubai took part in the classification and more than 30,000 students were surveyed.

What do the ratings mean?


A 1-star institution provides a good standard of education to students and has the necessary organisational structure to enable progress and development.


A 2-star institution provides a good standard of education to students and has demonstrated progress in the core criteria categories.


A 3-star institution provides a high standard of education to students and has demonstrated strengths in core criteria categories while showing progress in other categories and advanced criteria.


A 4-star institution offers an excellent standard of education to students and has demonstrated strengths across all categories including core and advanced criteria categories. Graduate skill sets are attractive to employers. 4-star institutions meet pre-requisites in Research and Teaching.


A 5-star institution offers a world-class standard of education and has demonstrated strengths across all categories including core criteria categories and advanced criteria categories. It has a global reputation and has highly regarded international research and teaching standards. Graduates are sought after by employers. Five-star institutions meet pre-requisites in Teaching, Research, Employability and Overall Student Satisfaction.

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