International team is reviewing branch campuses in Dubai

University Quality Assurance International Board reports to KHDA on local campuses of foreign universities in freezones

Dubai: An international team of experts is reviewing the quality of universities in Dubai’s freezones, a senior official said on Sunday.

Dr Warren Fox, adviser on higher education to the chairman of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, said Dubai’s unique position as “a hub for the largest number of international branch campuses” called for an equally unique mechanism to ensure their quality.

There are around 34 campuses of universities from the US, UK, India and at least 10 other countries in Dubai. Some of them are top-rated institutions in their home country and renowned globally, such as the London Business School and University of Birmingham.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international forum in Dubai on student well-being, Dr Fox told Gulf News on Sunday: “When these universities come here, they must maintain the same quality they have at home … So we have established a board — UQAIB, the University Quality Assurance International Board — comprised of experts, advisers who come and join us on a regular basis to make sure the universities maintain the standards of the home campus … If there is a problem, they [branch campuses] could be on probation until they fix the issue that needs to be taken care of.”

He said the experts include senior officials from the education and government sector in the US, UK, Australia, India, China and other countries.

“This group does the reviews and they make formal recommendations to KHDA, so KHDA then makes the decisions about whether to admit this campus, to continue to approve it … The campuses that open here need to have UQAIB and KHDA approval. If you don’t, then you wouldn’t operate here.”


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