The Experience of Quality in Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates: In Times of Rapid Change and Complexities

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Burcu Tezcan-Unal

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Foreign Language Education

Publication Date



In less than five decades, from offering formal education only in a few schools to a small tribal community to providing a selection of three public and approximately 100 private higher education institutions to the citizens of seven emirates creates a unique context in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is an evolution that corresponds with its remarkable economic growth. Quality assurance of diverse higher educational institutions requires complex schemes to ensure their fitness for purpose, while perhaps development and enhancement aspects need time to mature. The quality of the education is especially important because the UAE yearns for the diversified and knowledge-based economy; one that is led by its own citizens whose contribution to the workforce is currently less than 10%. This chapter highlights contextual complexities in the UAE that might have direct and/or indirect impacts on the quality experiences in the higher education sector, with proposed recommendations.


Springer International Publishing

First Page


Last Page



Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access