The United Arab Emirates is one of the youngest countries of the world, nevertheless, it is one of the fastest growing countries in many fields. In the education field, the UAE is ranked first among the GCC and in the top 30 countries of the world.
Ideally positioned as a gateway between East and West, Dubai has developed a distinct identity as a modern and dynamic city. It enjoys a global reputation as a leading trade and finance hub and continues to offer excellent opportunities for investment. Sustained economic growth relies on effective social development strategies, such as the recruitment, development and retention of skilled local and international professionals. The continued development of high-quality private schooling is essential for this to happen. Education that meets international benchmarks is one of the key areas of social infrastructure that must continue to change and improve. The private school sector in Dubai is thriving, with a growing demand from Emirati and expatriate families for high-quality early learning, primary, secondary, higher education and continuous training provisions. Dubai also aspires to be among the happiest and most innovative cities in the world. The happiness and wellbeing of students and teachers in Dubai begins when investors and operators give as much importance to positive education in the structure and culture of their schools as academic performance.
As of October 2015:
• The private schools sector (173 schools) serves 90% of all school students in Dubai.
• Nearly all of these schools rely on parents or parents’ employers to fund their children’s education.
• While Dubai’s public schools and universities provide free education to Emiratis, over half of Emirati families in Dubai choose to send their children to private institutions.
• The number of students attending Dubai’s private schools has grown from 177,587 in 2008 to 265,299 in 2015, an increase of 49%. This growth is expected to continue – current projections estimate an increase to 345,000 students in Dubai by 2020. International assessment results show that student outcomes in Dubai are above those in all countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Yet much progress is still to be made.
Why Dubai? 1.1 Growing student population Dubai’s private education sector is unique. More than 90% of all school education in Dubai is currently provided by the private sector, which includes more than 170 schools, upwards of 265,000 students from 183 nationalities, and offers 16 different curricula. This dynamic and complex landscape is constantly evolving to better meet the needs of Dubai’s growing population. Essential data include:
• Annual school tuition fees range from AED 2,250 to AED 103,000 per year, 36% of families pay less than AED 10,000 per child per year.
• The 2015-2016 private school market is worth AED 6.1 billion, based on the regulated tuition fees applied to each student (with no allowance for any subsidies from schools).
• The number of private schools has grown from 143 in 2008 to 173 in 2015. 32 new schools have opened between 2012 and 2015 and there are 19,323 students enrolled at these schools (7% of all enrolled students).
• The number of students attending Dubai’s private schools has increased from 177,587 in 2008 to 265,299 in 2015, or by 49%.
• This growth is expected to continue – we estimate that there will be 345,000 students in Dubai by 2020, with an estimated need equivalent to the capacity of 50 new schools. 1.2 School capacity and utilization rate Figures for 2015-2016 indicate that Dubai’s schools offer a combined 298,341 student places. Of these, 89% are currently utilized. Further analysis indicates that in all fee bands, schools that have been rated by KHDA as offering a good or better quality of education benefit from significantly higher utilization than schools that have been rated as acceptable or lower.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been huge improvements in many fields like airports, hotels, hospitals, etc. However, we have not seen much change in the fields of schools. For the last twenty years, the school building, the classroom furniture, the cafeteria and many school divisions have been the same with no major improvement. For five years, a group of professionals in education, architecture, IT, and other fields have been making research and development to create “The Intelligent Academy”: the first school of the “second generation of schools”. It is the first school of its kind in the world because of many aspects such as
- It applies the best educational system characterized by comprehensiveness and integration of 21st century interaction skills, teachers’ competency, and performance tuning.
- It applies the Fine Balance between tradition and contemporary.
- Intelligent Academy is the right place to search and to dig for students’ talents, train and improve them to the maximum. Moreover, the academy does the same for the staff, the teachers, or the parents.
- It covers the seven pillars of education elements, namely, students, professional teachers, school administration, smart curricle, parents and community, sustainable school building, techniques and devices.
- It integrates the nine interdependent and interrelated Matrix systems: sustainable system, health system, safety system, Community system, values system, education system, strategic system, smart system, and knowledge system, in addition to global accreditation and standards.
- It is a unique school, to integrate all the advantages of the advanced education systems in the world, no one has designed such a school.
- It is a Smart school, uses all modern digital technologies to upgrade the efficiency and performance of the school. More than 988 Key Performance Indexes (KPI’s) are used to measure the school performance.
- Communication system within the Intelligent Academy departments and between the school and the parents applies modern methods and unprecedented techniques to enhance the school performance to reach the highest level.
- It is an International school, advantages and benefits of the whole world cultures are represented and showcased in the Intelligent Academy. Its goal is to produce and create world leaders, not forgetting the required harmonization.
- The school enjoys great support of giant companies such as Samsung, Siemens, ZTE, and Corning because it will be a showcase for their education solutions.
- The possibility of expanding into a series of schools as Franchise business model with different sizes and curricula.
- The school is a visualization of “the matrix theory” that combines the seven pillars of education and the nine global systems.
- The Intelligent academy graduates are not only smart, but also they are healthy, enjoy awareness to preserve the environment and avoid bad habits.
- The school scores a full mark of the nine systems applied in the best education systems in the world: Norway, Finland, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Canada.
- The Intelligent Academy design is a landmark by its own.
- The Intelligent Academy develops other sources of income such as educational activities and services that can create an additional 30% revenues.
- High profitability or ROI is about 25% annually, and breakeven point period will not exceed 5 years. Moreover, more than 102 financial ratios are used to evaluate the Intelligent Academy to ensure the financial performance is far beyond other investments performance.
- The school will accept a certain number of talented, gifted and special needs students, and provide outstanding staff who can deal with them at the best practices, such as, teacher clarity, classroom discussion, feedback, formative assessment, and metacognitive strategies.
- The school is considered a strategic partner for “the smart Learning Initiative” launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the 10th of April 2012, the largest and most important education initiatives, under the optimal technology to create innovative learning environment and enhance learning outcomes.
- The Intelligent Academy will be a leader in participating in the international competitions such as the Education Olympiad, Pisa, and TOEFL.
- The Organizational structure of the school is the first of its kind to classify functions horizontally and vertically and, therefore, to set a clear, fair and transparent payroll.