'Massive Growth' in Number of Students in UAE Forecast

'Massive Growth' in Number of Students in UAE Forecast
By James Mullan
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There will be a significant increase in the number of students attending private schools over the next seven years in the UAE according to officials speaking at the Education Investment MENA summit this week in Dubai.

“We currently have 200,000 students in 184 private schools, teaching 14 different curriculums across Abu Dhabi,” said Tareq Zeyad Al Ameri, the manager of promotion and business development at the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).

“By 2020 the number of students in private schools is expected to reach 280,000, which means an annual year-on-year growth of 5 per cent.”

Growth is even greater in Dubai, according to Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). He said that there is currently a 7 per cent annual increase in student enrolments in private schools. If growth continues at this rate  the number of students will rise from 225,000 to 360,000 by 2020.

“This is a 60 per cent increase from the existing student population,” said Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director general at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. “We will need 110 new schools by 2020 and it is one of the highest growth areas, followed by higher education.”

According to one speaker at the conference the UAE’s private education market is about the same size as India’s and China’s combined.

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