Which Curriculum is Dubai's Most Popular?

The KHDA has released its latest snapshot data, revealing a strengthening of trends seen in previous years. UK curriculum schools continue to dominate, registering students and recruiting teachers from all nationalities.
Which Curriculum is Dubai's Most Popular?
By David Westley
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UK curriculum schools remain the top choice for Dubai’s private school students according to the KHDA's latest stats, with 36% of students opting for the curriculum. The Indian curriculum is the second most popular (26 per cent), followed by the American curriculum (15 per cent). The International Baccalaureate (7 per cent) and UK/IB hybrid curriculum (4 per cent) round up the top five curriculum choices. 

The number of students being educated in IB schools rose 1% in the latest academic year, from 6% to 7%. The UK curriculum also continues to grow - rising 1% for the latest academic year to 36%. The US curriculum fell 1% to 15%, although it remains the most popular for Emirati students, accounting for 60 per cent of all local students. 24 per cent of Emiratis are enrolled in UK curriculum schools. 

Indian schools are much larger than UK, US, or IB schools, which is how 32 schools can enrol 26% of all students.

Indian teachers account for 31% of all teaching staff, although only 26% of students are enrolled in Indian curriculum schools. Teachers coming from the UK account for 17% of the total number of teachers, but UK schools educate 36% of all UAE students. Over half of all teachers are in Primary (55%), and 29% are in secondary.

There were only 4 new schools in the latest academic year, the lowest number in Dubai in recent years.

The number of private schools in Dubai increased to 216 in the 2022-23 academic year, offering 17 different curricula. Just four new private schools opened in Dubai in the new academic year, one of the lowest numbers we have on record.

This release of the latest data follows KHDA’s recent announcement, in which it revealed a student enrolment growth of 4.5% from the end of the 2021-22 academic year in June, to the start of the current academic year in September. This is a slight decrease from the same period last year when the KHDA recorded 4.9% growth.

Dubai schools are clustering in what the KHDA calls the Hadaeq Mohammed Bin Rashid area

More than 326,000 students now attend Dubai’s private schools, representing a total of 187 nationalities. 10% of students in Dubai's international schools are Emirati, and 16,418 are deemed to have special needs. 

For more stats click here to download the full KHDA 2022-2023 infographic.

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