Khaleej Times, Thursday, Feb 09, 2023 | Rajab 18, 1444
Ministry of Education relaxes rule for university admission
Higher education institutions in the UAE are no longer required to apply
Emirates Standardized Tests (EmSAT) for university admissions, it was announced
The Ministry of Education said EmSAT results are now an optional criterion for
university admissions. Under the new policy, institutions may use other tests to
gauge students' competency. They also have the flexibility to determine the
This new decision will be implemented from the academic year 2023-2024.
Universities and higher education institutes are expected to ensure that the
quality of education is maintained.
The decision aims to enhance students' ability to choose a university major as
per their interests, skills and abilities.
EmSAT is a national system of computer-based tests that assess graduates of
private and public schools within and outside the country. Prior to this
announcement, results of the exam have to be submitted to get admitted into UAE
Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, said: "The decision comes as
part of the continuous efforts to develop the education system in the country,
in accordance with international best practices."
The new policy was based on an extensive study that considered the feedback of
higher education institutions, students, and parents, among other stakeholders,
"The ministry will periodically review the developments of the decision in
consultation with higher education institutions in the country to ensure the
best educational outcomes for students," the minister added.
With the new rule, institutions will be able to adjust admission criteria and
give students more flexibility in choosing their majors. This can also help
align the youth's skills with labour market requirements, Al Falasi said.
"The Ministry of Education will continue to work on modernising the educational
system in the country, developing education sector strategies, activating the
most appropriate tools...in line with the directions of the wise leadership and
the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071," the minister said.