Education is one of the high priorities for the Middle East region that has seen a spectacular economic rise over the past decades. For instance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been engaged in a successful internationalization strategy, which has helped the country to emerge as one of the leading transnational education hubs in the world. In a study conducted by the British Council, UAE was ranked high in terms of regulatory frameworks for student mobility, openness to transnational education, and recognition procedures for foreign degrees. As a result of it, UAE saw rapidly increasing outbound, and inbound student flows. Over the past few years, the number of international students choosing UAE universities has been rising sharply.
With the help of policies that support the internationalization of the higher education sector, substantial government spending and institutes continuously finding top positions in global university rankings, UAE is giving the western countries a run for their money. In fact, UAE is fast becoming an ideal location for institutions worldwide seeking to broaden their global footprints. According to the Observatory of Borderless Education, UAE is the second leading country for international branch campuses behind China.
To explore the Middle East’s Higher Education System, we have come up with this special edition that features a collection of insightful articles. Written by academic experts and industry leaders, the essays discuss higher education opportunities, reforms, and best practices in the Middle East. On the cover, we feature Dr Abdullatif AlShamsi, President & CEO, Higher Colleges of Technology – UAE. Dr Abdullatif AlShamsi, who has more than thirty-five research publications in world-class scientific journals and international conferences, writes about the ‘Persona 4.0’ concept, which is an expansive vision that can be developed in line with future advancements and challenges. The pages inside are filled with insights, information, and inspirations.