Education Hub Strategy and Policy in the UAE: Creating a Cultural Space for Higher Education and Research

Marvin Erfurth

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently pursues an Education Hub strategy that aims at increasing higher education and research capacities and aligning these with its economic priorities for achieving advantages in the global economy. This strategy presently leaves the UAE in a position of playing “catch- up” and fosters higher education as a business, making it less accessible to the public and social mobility harder. The foundation of this current strategy is a strong focus on the geographic and physical elements of creating a Hub, which narrows its scope and impact. To exploit the already created capacities and decisions made, the current strategy’s focus and impact should be broadened by creating an accessible cultural space for education and research. This might, over time, lead to the formation of a reputed location for higher education and research by virtue of academic vigor that, importantly, also embodies the UAE’s uniqueness and needs.

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Author affiliation: Marvin Erfurth, University of Münster


Recommended citation: Erfurth, M. (2019). Education Hub Strategy and Policy in the United Arab Emirates: Creating a Cultural Space for Higher Education (Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research Policy Paper No. 33). doi: