ABU DHABI: Expensive overhaul of higher education

Abu Dhabi plans to spend about 4.9 billion UAE dirhams (US$1.3 billion) a year from 2018, mostly on research and development, in an overhaul of higher education that will fill a key gap in its economic development plan, officials said late last week, reports the business information company Zawya.

The 10-year plan to bring Abu Dhabi's universities up to international standards recognises that the emirate "seriously lags behind in human capital", said Rafic Makki, executive director of the office of planning and strategic affairs at the Abu Dhabi Educational Council.

To build up research capabilities that will help sustain its shift away from an oil-based economy, Abu Dhabi will gradually boost public expenditure on research and development to 0.75% of gross domestic product, or about AED3.75 billion, in 2018, from a current share of less than 0.01%, according to the plan.
Full report on the Zawya site

AMEinfo reports that the Abu Dhabi Higher Education Strategic Plan will both help to raise its higher education system to international standards and develop an innovation-based, knowledge-producing society. "The plan comes as a result of a landmark decision by government leaders to make education the highest priority as part of plans to improve the economic diversity and sustainability of Abu Dhabi."
Full report on the AMEinfo site