University fees: How much is it to study in the UAE?

Fees can vary widely between institutions - and they are far from the only expense

Students from the New York University Abu Dhabi read outside in a campus courtyard. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Students from the New York University Abu Dhabi read outside in a campus courtyard. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

The reputations of the UAE’s universities have been rising steadily for several years – but it is not just league table rankings that prospective students must take into account when choosing where to go.

Fees can vary widely across the country, with each university free to set their own prices. As the quality of courses improves, so too can tuition fees, while other costs such as accommodation can also add to the significant price tag for a degree.

At New York University Abu Dhabi, one of the most prestigious in the UAE, potential students are told what to expect. Although Emiratis have their university fees covered by the government, the university advises other applicants that about $75,000 (Dh275,000) is probably needed in total, every year.

This includes course fees of around $50,000 (Dh183,647) plus other expenses such as accommodation, travel and health insurance. While course fees rose slightly this year, accommodation costs fell by around $6,000 (Dh22,000), compared to 2018-19, meaning the overall cost fell by the university's estimates.

Like others, a programme of financial support and bursaries is on offer to those who meet eligibility criteria.

Some UAE universities charge per ‘credit hour’, and set a minimum number of hours needed to progress each year and eventually graduate. UAE University, for example, charges undergraduates between Dh1,900 and 2,500 per credit hour, although some courses require more hours than others. Khalifa university charges a flat fee of Dh3,333 per credit hour.

At the American University in Dubai, a flat fee of Dh44,887 per semester (there are two semesters per year) is charged to students taking a normal programme of study. At the University of Sharjah, flat fees are also charged for those taking a typical number of courses, although these vary depending on which college a student is admitted to.

For example, Dh39,000 is charged by the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies for a full year, but the figure is Dh107,545 at the College of Human Medicine.

Zayed University advertises full programme costs, which include everything from introductory workshops to the graduation ceremony. These range from Dh84,000 for its education programmes, to as much as Dh128,000 for business and diplomacy courses.

Published: September 12, 2019 05:56 PM


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