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Tuition fees for universities to fall

UAE universities have cut tuition fees and increased the number of scholarships on offer in a bid to make higher education more accessible.

May 16, 2010 12:48 by

Colleges in the UAE have set up discount programs or established grants, scholarships and other incentives to support students whose parents may have lost their jobs or have had their salaries and incomes reduced, reports the National.

The paper says students with limited financial resources and a minimum average of 70 percent on their high school results can receive a discount of up to 50 percent on tuition at Abu Dhabi University (ADU), for instance, through its Sanabil financial aid program. Those already studying at ADU with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5 a semester are also being offered discounts of up to 50 per cent on tuition.

And in March, the board of trustees of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) approved more than Dh70 million (US$19m) in student grants for this year. But the National warns that some university administrators are afraid lower tuition will lead to lower educational standards.

“There is evidence to show that discounting fees can lead to lower quality offerings and we are committed to quality,” Professor John Grainger, the pro-vice chancellor at Murdoch University in Dubai, told the paper. “For this reason we have not lowered our tuition fees in the current market.”

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