HEC Rating FAQs
What is the Higher-Education Classification?
The Higher-Education Classification represents a milestone and symbolizes a new maturity in Dubai’s higher-education sector. Parents and students will be able to refer to this framework and the individual university reports published on the KHDA website to help inform their decisions when choosing a university. Institutions will be able to identify and showcase their strengths and work towards international standards and best practices across strategically important areas.
Why is the Higher-Education Classification being implemented?
To keep in mind the diversity of institutions, it was developed by QS in partnership with KHDA and is aligned with QS Stars to serve Dubai’s vision. It will provide students with more information in key areas such as research, teaching, employability, student happiness and facilities available.
Who are the intended users of the Higher-Education Classification?
It’s intended to provide greater transparency for students, parents and the public in general. Universities can use the reports to highlight their strengths and plan for future improvements.
Can a university appeal their rating?
Yes, a university can appeal, if they feel that they have not been given a fair rating, by sending an official communication addressed to the Director General of KHDA within 30 days of the publication of the report.
Can the university publish the rating and/or the report for promotion purposes?
Yes, the university can publish it on its website and other publications with prior approval from KHDA.
Can a student transfer to another university if the rating is low?
A credit transfer between programmes and universities will be based on equivalencies determined by university academic policies. This process existed prior to the introduction of the Higher-Education Classification framework.
Does the university home campus contribute to the branch campus rating in the Higher-Education Classification framework?
Higher Education Classification focuses on measuring the branch campus performance in the classification categories. However, the branch may benefit from visits by faculty from the home campus, and from policies and procedures developed at the home campus and implemented at the branch.
If a university is rated “One Star", will it be closed down?
No, the university will not be closed down. One of the aims of the Higher-Education Classification framework it is to provide greater transparency about higher-education institutions to the public. Another aim is to help universities identify strengths and weaknesses and to prioritize areas for improvement before the next rating cycle.
What is the difference between UQAIB and Higher-Education Classification?
Higher-Education Classification is a rating system developed to provide better transparency and public information. UQAIB is the academic quality assurance process that KHDA uses to ensure that branch campuses are delivering programmes to the same quality as the home campus. For more information about UQAIB, find the Good Practice Guides - UQAIB Quality Assurance Manual in our publication library.
Is this a permanent rating or will there be another opportunity to improve?
KHDA will carefully review the results of the first cycle of the Higher-Education Classification process. After due deliberation and a review of feedback from participants, plans will be made to implement the next Higher-Education Classification cycle.
Will KHDA share the areas where the universities need to improve?
Yes. The report will clearly set out areas of strength and areas for improvement that the university can prioritize moving forward.
Can universities increase tuition fees based on the Higher-Education Classification rating?
There is no link between rating and tuition fees. Decisions on tuition fees are made by each university.
What can I, as a student, expect to gain from the Higher-Education Classification?
Access to a range of information about Dubai universities to help you make informed higher-education choices. All of this information will be conveniently located on KHDA’s website.
Will my university’s rating affect my degree/employability?
The Higher-Education Classification rating will not affect your degree. All of the institutions that have been through the Higher-Education Classification cycle award degrees recognized by the Government of Dubai, per Executive Council Resolution (No.21), 2011. These degrees are also international awards. For employment purposes, per Executive Council Resolution (No.21) 2011, Article 9, you will be eligible for employment by the Dubai government and the private sector across the UAE.
Is there an option to get a refund should I choose to no longer continue at the university I am studying at due to the rating?
No, a refund based on rating is not an option. The framework was developed and implemented in 2019. There is no intention for the results to be used retrospectively. Refunds are based solely on university policies.