UAE private education opportunities examined
Dubai, October 22, 2013
Investment, expansion and partnership opportunities for investors and operators in the private education market are being examined at a conference which kicked off yesterday (October 21) in Dubai.
The second Education Investment Mena Conference runs till October 23 and is taking place at the Address Hotel, Dubai Mall.
It highlights the major opportunities for education operators, investors and financers to develop new education establishments and businesses in the Middle East’s diverse markets.
Education investment in the Middle East is growing significantly, as the region continues to attract some of the best educational institutions in the world to cater to soaring demand, said Tareq Al Ameri, promotion and business development division manager at Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (Adec) Private School and Quality Assurance sector.
“There is a rising demand for private schools. In an effort to keep up with the annual growth rate of 5 per cent for more private schools across Abu Dhabi, Adec fully supports investors/operators in the private school sector,” said Al Ameri.
“This is done by providing guidance on complying with regulation requirements, offering long-term land lease agreements with nominal rental fees, leasing ex-governmental school buildings for short term (until the school develops its new premises) and promoting transparency by publishing annual reports regarding the private school market (number of students, number of new schools, average tuition fees),” he said.
“Adec has been conducting various workshops for serious and committed investors who have background experience with the private school sector and will continue to do so in an effort to help familiarise investors/operators with our regulations and their rights and responsibilities,” he added.
Dino Varkey, chief operating officer of Gems Education, the global K-12 private education provider, participated in the Education Leaders Panel at the conference to discuss the critical role that private education is playing in global educational growth.
Western branded higher education institutions are growing at a rate of 15 per cent per annum in the UAE. There are 120,000 students enrolled in the region’s higher education sector, of which 78,000 are in private institutions, he said.
Higher education penetration is growing significantly in the region with the UAE hosting 37 international branch campuses; the highest number in the world.
A recent report by The Parthenon Group found that an increasing number of international K-12 institutions and universities are entering the GCC as it represents a huge opportunity to increase their global reach as well as improve financial returns.
The report found that within the private sector, “Western private” institutions are growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the higher education market. - TradeArabia News Service
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