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Adult Education in the United Arab Emirates

Adult education plays a critical role in a country’s economic development, but very little information on the sector is available in the UAE. To address this gap, we conducted a landscape review of the key adult education regulators in the country to understand the existing situation and identify challenges and make recommendations for the sector going forward. Using publicly available information, we found a complex system of regulators that lack transparency in roles, processes, and criteria, with some information contradicting public information available elsewhere. To address these challenges, we suggest immediate steps be taken to update and standardize regulator websites across the country and create a centralized portal for all adult education regulators and providers with a dashboard of key indicators. This can be further supported by developing a national adult education strategy and conducting a needs assessment to adopt a more inclusive approach, to TVET in particular, and a greater focus on quality provision. Finally, we emphasize the importance of greater collaboration between the regulators as well as the private sector across the country. Together, we hope these recommendations will lead to a more efficient adult education sector that aligns with market demands and supports the continued growth and development of the nation.

Recommended citation: Dingus, D., & Bašić, A. (2021). Adult education in the United Arab Emirates (Policy Paper No. 50). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.


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