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It’s no secret that the United Arabs Emirate is swimming in oil money. Universities around the world compete for foreign students, including those from the UAE which has just released a list of universities it recommends for E-learning. This could mean big bucks for the universities on the list, of which the majority are in the United Kingdoms (46). Oxford, Cambridge, and the London school of Economics top the list, but other countries are represented as well, including the US (36), Australia (20), and New Zealand (5).
This is all new, as the UAE did not formerly recognize other forms of learning, including self-study, correspondence learning, remote learning, and e-learning. It is possible that the infancy of degree equivalency program for online universities is why there are so few universities currently accredited, including none in Canada or all of Asia. What stopped universities from making the list? In order to be considered, e-learning has to be interactive, explained UAE minister Saif Rashid Al Mazrouei. As well, the courses need to be created specifically for online learning, be of equal or greater length than the traditional degree program, and be recognized by the country that the university is operating within.
The growing trend for online universities growing legitimacy is hinged on big names like Oxford and Harvard offering e-learning programs, and the recognition of e-learning as equally valid education by the UAE is a big step forward for online universities. College and university tuition is often double or triple for foreign students (as post-secondary is subsidized by federal, state, and provincial taxes) and thus are a gold-mine for institutions. Growing equivalency is just one more reason for universities to offer online programs and to expand their student body.