There are 26 foreign universities in Dubai but only four including Britain’s Heriot Watt and Middlesex University have local campuses with all facilities, the same academic and research standards as their home branches and free interchange of staff. Some such as the London Business School and Strathclyde Business School simply rent local offices and undertake no research.
Dubai’s regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KDHA), makes no distinction between such cases and in any event has no control over universities operating in freezones, like Dubai International Academic City, which are not regulated and being freezones ironically mean that the degree is recognized in every country in the world apart from in the UAE itself. This has led the UK Quality Assurance Agency to criticise standards of courses run by some UK institutions promising standards of campus life similar to the UK in their advertisements. Report Here.
The QAA states a campus “must run like one with the full range of supports including pastoral, careers and social facilities. Institutions should consider the expectations they are raising in promising a global campus experience.”The review noted “institutions can do more to introduce a UK academic culture” and “encouraging a culture of scholarly inquiry”.