The greatest use that can be made of wealth is to invest it in creating generations of educated and trained people. The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.

-His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE
Key Points

  • One of the UAE’s highest priorities has always been education.
  • The UAE has one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios (28:1) in the world.
  • New initiatives are being launched at all educational levels.
  • Offers a comprehensive education to all male and female students from kindergarten to university.

This evolution in education began on December 2, 1971 when the federation of the UAE was announced and federal ministries were set up including the Ministry of Education, which was entrusted with the task of supervising education at a national level. This led to the growth of public (government) schools, which became equipped with the latest educational techniques.

Additionally, educational missions were brought from Arab countries to contribute and develop modern education, resulting in an educational boom that led to an increase in the number of educated citizens and to the eradication of illiteracy.

From past few years, the UAE has also developed advanced teaching pedagogies that matches with the international standards. Arab rulers are focused on building their future on strong education backbone.

A rapid rise in population has necessitated a considerable investment in education.

Today, the UAE offers a comprehensive education to all male and female students from kindergarten to university, with education for the country’s citizens being provided free at all levels.

There is also an extensive private education sector, while several thousand students, of both sexes, pursue courses of higher education abroad at government expense.

Much has been achieved since the early 1970s but efforts are now being made to improve the educational environment for all pupils, in line with a re-evaluation of the role of government.

The UAE has focused on educating both men and women. In 1975, the rate of adult literacy was 54% among men and 31% among women. According to the CIA World Factbook, total literacy under 15 years in 2003 reached 77.9%. Between the ages of 15-24; males reached 98% literacy and women 96%.