Publication Details

Bhayani, A. 2013, 'The market route to higher education in UAE: its rationales and implication', International Review on Public and Non Profit Marketing, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 75-87.


Externalities 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 government to shoulder the ever increasing burden of higher education; is cited as one of the reasons for adopting the market route to higher education and treating students as consumers. This consumerist turn to higher education has raised concerns about quality, critical pedagogy and the perception amongst employers that graduates lack skills. The market of higher education in UAE (United Arab Emirates) is relatively free and there are substantial numbers of higher education institutions giving consumers fair choice in deciding whether to pursue their education at public, private or University Branch Campuses (IBC). The purpose of this exploratory study is to evaluate the market of higher education in UAE with regards to quality and market acceptability of universities and colleges. As the higher education sector in UAE is predominantly teaching oriented, this exploratory study is intended to assess perceptions of employers about private higher education and thereby assess the effectiveness of market route. The study revealed that the employers prefer graduates from public universities or IBC's as compared to private ones citing the concerns about student's preparation for the world of employment. The policy implications for State and universities are discussed.



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