Higher Education Responsibilities


KHDA’s role is to ensure that Dubai’s higher education institutions are established and operate according to the highest quality standards, in line with our legislation. Below are some of the key responsibilities of the higher education institutions as authorized entities:

Quality assurance:

Branch campuses of international universities may choose to come under the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB) quality assurance scheme, or they may choose to be licensed and accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA). All other private higher education institutions in a Free Zone must be licensed and accredited by the CAA.

For further information view documentation for Quality Assurance for higher education institutions.

Starting a new higher educational programme in Dubai

All programmes that are offered by academic institutions in the Free Zones of Dubai require approval and registration by KHDA. Programmes and institutions are listed on the KHDA website and made available to the general public.

An academic institution may not advertise or recruit students into an academic programme without obtaining KHDA approval and registration.

Certification of academic qualifications for Free Zone higher education institutions

The Executive Council Resolution No. 21 of 2011 allows the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) to certify academic qualifications. Students who graduate from higher education institutions in the Free Zones will be able to have their degrees certified for employment and other purposes in Dubai. The certification is applicable to all academic programmes that are registered with KHDA and appear on the Academic Authorisation of the higher education institution. This service is available for all graduates of authorised institutions since April 2007.

Institutions will submit documents and required data to KHDA for certification on behalf of students who want to certify their documents. Please note that there is a certification fee of AED 200. For more information please contact us. 

Advertising guidelines for higher education institutions 

If you are a higher education provider in the Free Zones of Dubai, you must have written approval from KHDA before you can use any advertising or marketing material. Read KHDA guidelines for more information on the review process and the KHDA framework for approving advertisements before they are published. 

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