Marketisation of higher education in UAE and its impact on teaching quality
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EExternalities with regards to higher education have increasingly being debated across the world with many countries shifting part of the higher education responsibility to the individuals on the premise that it generates private benefits. The transformation of higher education from elite to mass system and inability of the state to shoulder the ever increasing burden of higher education is cited as one of the reasons of marketisation where private players are involved and students treated as consumers. This consumerist turn to higher education has raised concerns about quality and graduate employability. Purpose of the study is to evaluate marketisation of higher education in UAE in order to assess its impact on the quality by analysing perceptions of employers about the graduate employability. Proliferation of the private providers in form universities and International Branch Campuses (IBC) have led us to question quality of graduates and might give us an indication about the suitability of marketisation in UAE in context. This exploratory study of graduate employability in the country gave insights that the employers prefer graduates from public universities as compared to private ones citing the concerns of quality of the graduates coming out of the private institutions. Further, it was discovered that the employers rely less on college transcripts and more on employment tests to assess the suitability of the graduates. While the market of higher education in UAE is relatively free and consumers have fair choice to make in choosing universities and colleges which is expected to result in efficiency and effectiveness. However, the benefits of using market forces can be achieved by paying greater attention to regulatory and information framework.