24 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: options for online degrees in the UAE

In the UAE, the Ministry of Higher Education has approved 105 universities from overseas that are eligible to offer their programmes electronically

Sanjeev Verma
27 Sep 2016 | 10:49 am

I’m talented, successful and in a senior position in the corporate sector. However, I realise I can’t climb further up the career ladder because I don’t hold a university degree. I’d like to do an online BBA and an executive MBA from an accredited university that has local presence in the UAE. What are my options?

It is great that not only have you recognised your shortcomings, you’re also taking action to overcome them.

Depending on where you stay in the UAE, you could opt for evening classes at various universities in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Credit will be given for your work experience, especially if you have shown leadership traits, been a successful entrepreneur or achieved significant results in your workplace. The extent of credit depends on the course and university you apply to.

Alternatively you could choose to do an online course. Because of the proliferation and the relative ease with 
which you could get an online degree, it becomes all the more critical you chose your service provider carefully.

Online degrees tend to be less expensive than traditional education, but choose sensibly as there are lots of fraudulent degrees available. While choosing the university ensure it is recognised by the appropriate authorities, has been around for some time and is a name your employers and friends would recognise and acknowledge.

Competency-based degrees, especially at the bachelor’s level, are becoming very popular, wherein online students can take advantage of their professional knowledge while applying for credits in college.

In the UAE, the Ministry of Higher Education has approved 105 universities from overseas that are eligible to offer their programmes electronically. This list could be a starting point for your selection. In Dubai, the Hamdan University is also approved by the Ministry to offer online qualifications. Online programmes offer considerable flexibility as all you need is a computer to access your classes anywhere, anytime. Most universities also provide ICT training during the first semester to help improve computer literacy and confidence.

While making a selection you need to be very careful and check who your tutors are and their credentials – for example are they the same who teach the students on campus? What access do you have to academic advisers, career services, online tutoring and a library?

Because of its size and topography Australia tends to be at the forefront of online education and universities such as USQ and Deakin are especially known for their online programmes and the support they offer students.

In USA the prestigious and competitive online providers include Penn State, Florida University and Western Kentucky, among others. Alternatively you could look at competency-based universities like Capella, Western Governors or Charter Oak State College.

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Sanjeev Verma

Sanjeev Verma

is a leading international education counsellor