Archive for the ‘Accreditation’ Category

Today’s National ran the story

‘Two university campuses threatened with closure over quality test’

I don’t even know how to begin talking about this.

First, there’s the Dubai-based Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), an education authority created by decree 30/2006 “to improve schools and other human resource sectors in Dubai”1

Then there’s a board set up in 2009 by the KHDA called the University Quality Assurance International Board (Uqaib – the website http://www.khda.gov.ae/uqaib returns a 404 Error) that “(a) provides advice to the KHDA on HEP [Higher Education Provider] Branch Permits and (b) makes decisions for the KHDA on Program Validation.”2

We’ve also got the federal-level Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (could this be the first entity in the UAE that hasn’t been assigned an acronym?) and the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA — also federal).  The Ministry’s purpose is to

Develop knowledge, skills, globalization, integration, scientific research, quality educational systems, apply appropriate abilities and attitudes, community needs, environments that encourage learning, social responsibilities, to provide leadership in delivering excellent, accessible higher education for learners and enabling an integrated and dynamic approach to education, research and innovation; facilitate the provision of quality of Higher Education to the UAE community and to promote development in application of its outcomes in collaboration with all stakeholders; to ensure the orderly development of higher education in the UAE and maintain its high standard through the inevitable utilization of information and IT, and through proper guidance on resource procurements, utilization and through effective scientific evaluation and monitoring systems.3

The CAA’s mission is “to promote educational excellence across diverse institutions of higher learning in the UAE. Through licensure of colleges and universities, and accreditation of individual programs, the Commission strives to assure high quality education, consistent with international standards.”4

I don’t know about you, but my head is already spinning, and I haven’t even begun to dig into the US and UK accreditation labyrinth.  Uqaib’s (and by the way, why aren’t all those letters capitalised?) Quality Assurance Manual alone is 66 pages long, and quite frankly, I don’t think I want to read it in its entirety.  But it appears that the UAE has a number of entities involved in accrediting/licensing/approving/recommending higher education institutions (or individual programmes) whose power seems to depend on whether an institution is in a free zone or not, and whose missions seem to overlap.

With all these resources and lengthy documents devoted to educational quality assurance here in the UAE, can anyone tell me why, according to the UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research’s website, NYU Abu Dhabi’s MBA programme was denied accreditation here?

The UAEMHER doesn’t explain, but it seems to rank pretty highly in the US.5


1Knowledge and Human Development Authority. (n.d.) “About KHDA”. Retrieved 13 April 2010 from http://www.khda.gov.ae/En/AboutUs/AboutKHDA.aspx.

2University Quality Assurance International Board. (2009). Quality Assurance Manual. Retrieved 13 April 2010 from http://www.khda.gov.ae/CMS/WebParts/TextEditor/Documents/UQAIB_EN.pdf.

3Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. (n.d.) Retrieved 13 April 2010 from http://www.mohesr.ae/en/mission.aspx.

4Commission for Academic Accreditation. (n.d.) Retrieved 13 April 2010 from http://www.caa.ae/caa/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=1&tabid=60.

5U.S. News and World Report. (2009). Best Business Schools. Retrieved 13 April 2010 from http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/rankings.


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