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Abu Dhabi: Nearly 15,000 Emiratis accepted at federal universities

For the first time, sizable number of nationals register for vocational courses

Federal universities and institutes in the UAE have granted admission to 14,570 Emirati high-school graduates for the 2012-2013 academic year.
This marks the largest number of nationals who have found seats at federal universities during one academic year, with female students accounting for 60 per cent of this figure.

Those offered admission, both Emiratis and children of Emirati mothers, were chosen from among 18,400 applicants from across the UAE. Admissions have been distributed among the UAE’s three federal universities, namely the Higher Colleges of Technology, Zayed University and UAE University, which are overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education and Social Research.

While 380 students will receive scholarships to pursue their education abroad, 3,520 students have also been cleared to join programmes at the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (Adveti) for the first time.

At a signing ceremony held in the capital yesterday, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, congratulated students who had received admission to universities and reiterated the commitment of the country’s leadership to educational excellence.

“Higher education in the country has made a quantum leap with the help of national cadres specialised in all fields of science and technology. I am confident that this year’s students will meet our expectations and will exert maximum effort to benefit from the services and opportunities available to them at the universities and colleges,” Shaikh Nahyan said.

The 2012-2013 admissions represent the largest number of students who have been chosen to study at federal institutes in a single academic year. In comparison, only 11,532 students were accepted at federal universities last year.

“The proportion of students who have been accepted this year from among the total number of applicants is not much different compared to previous years. Some students may not have received admission because of incomplete applications or other minor concerns, and they can apply again in the second semester,” Youmna Badowah, director of higher education planning and coordination at the ministry, told.

This year, 8,761 female students, representing nearly 60 per cent of the applicants, have been admitted at the universities and Adveti, compared to 5,429 males.

“Each year, we do have a greater proportion of female students who are accepted into higher education institutes. This is simply because of a greater number of female students who apply, and the fact that most girls achiever higher grades,” Youmna said.

Admissions into Adveti, which is overseen by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Actvet), have also been approved this year by the ministry for the first time. Instead of four-year degrees that are offered by the universities, the Adveti offers a two-year diploma for enrolled students, as well as foundation courses for those who require them.

Adveti, which was founded in 2007, offers vocational education and technical skills training in fields such as oil and gas and aviation. Asked whether a stigma against vocational education may prevent accepted students from enrolling in the programme, Dr Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, deputy director general at the Actvet, said more students are now opening up to vocational training.

“Based on the statistics we have collected, the majority of students granted admission are in fact interested in receiving vocational training.
“Many key jobs require the technical education that Adveti provides, and major industries, including the oil and gas, aviation and nuclear industries, are keen to recruit graduates with industry-specific skills.

“In fact, we have tied up with major industry players, with many students signing employment contracts even before they finish at the institute,” Dr Al Shamsi added. Students enrolled at Adveti will be able to pursue their education at campuses situated across the country including in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi city, Mirfaa, Dubai, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. Other campuses are expected to open in Sharjah and Ajman later this year, Dr Al Shamsi said. (The Gulf News)

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