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Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET)

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Overview of Vocational Education Training system
Skills around the World: United Arab Emirates

Technical and vocational education in the UAE had little prestige and attracted few resources before the UAE government’s policy on Emiratisation. Now, it is a high priority to develop technical and vocational education, and all institutions have improved their programmes and quality assurance.

Technical and vocational education is offered at secondary and post-secondary level in the UAE. It is also provided at several colleges where programmes lead to foreign technical and vocational qualifications.

Technical secondary schools

The current public school system includes eight secondary technical schools offering vocational education programs in business and industrial areas for tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students who are male UAE citizens. Technical secondary schools are part of the government education system under the Ministry of Education and, as such, they are subject to regulations of the national system such as school year schedule, national completion exams, curriculum and teacher hiring processes. A separate Department of Technical Education unit of the Ministry is responsible for technical schools.

The secondary technical education system in the UAE has a dual mission:

to prepare students to enter the workforce directly after school
to prepare students to continue their education at post-secondary education institutions in the UAE or abroad.

The curriculum

Technical high schools teach a three-year curriculum that consists of:

business / commercial programs (in management, office administration, computer applications and accounting)
mechanical, electrical, and civil industrial technology programmes (in automotive, electrical wiring, electronics, machining, welding, construction, surveying, refrigeration / AC and mechatronics)
agriculture programmes.

Tertiary Colleges and Universities

The federal and private institutions throughout the UAE offer a mixture of vocational and academic programs from Higher Diploma to Masters and PhD qualifications.  Many programs are geared to direct employment in established or emerging fields of industry and commerce.  The non-federal, private institutions licensed by the UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, are listed on the web site for the Commission for Academic Accreditation.

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