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Awards Day Twenty! The Top Schools Award for Best University in the UAE. Official Entry Form now LIVE.
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Awards Day Twenty! The Top Schools Award for Best University in the UAE. Official Entry Form now LIVE.

by Jon WestleyMay 3, 2021

The Top Schools Awards, the UAE’s definitive School Awards, recognising the region’s most outstanding schools, teachers and educationalists, today publishes full information for entering the twentieth of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for Best University in the UAE.

Entry for each of the remaining Awards are being published daily between now and the 8th May 2021. For details of the Awards published to date, click here.

This Award recognises the UAE’s best universities for students at UAE schools seeking a Higher Education and the close relationships developed with UAE schools, parents and students. With UAE universities increasingly competing on a global stage, more students studying at schools in the UAE are now looking locally rather than abroad for continuing their education after graduation. This Award recognises those that are best meeting their needs in providing extensive choice in degree courses, quality of degree study and awarded qualifications – and building powerful links with the region’s schools to support student’s in their journey into Higher Education.



Please complete this application form to enter a university for The Top Schools Award for the Best University in the UAE. A PDF of the form can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Not entering for an Award, does not preclude any University from being considered. All universities in the UAE are considered within the judging process, drawing on expertise and data across Which Media. Entering for an Award, however, does ensure that we have access to accurate, up-to-date information on your university – and information strengthened by your decisions on how to answer the following questions.

Nominations for this Award can be made in two ways:

  • By Schools – please email your nomination for the university in the UAE that has built the most powerful, impressive and supportive relationship with your school and students to [email protected]. Please provide a supporting paragraph for your nomination in your email and head the email “School nomination Best University.”
  • By UAE Universities – please follow the guidelines below.

Please note: this Award is only for UAE-based universities. The following questions are a guide; you may wish to draw out other strengths to support your case.



Aim for 1000 – 2000 Words

Support the case that your University provides an outstanding (1) breadth and (2) quality of degree courses for students graduating from UAE schools to ensure that degree qualification pathways for students ensure that every student at your university can meet his or her individual ambitions, potential, and ability in full. Provide paragraphs answering the following: (1) How our facilities develop an outstanding Higher Education offer for students at our university; (2) Our outstanding faculty; (3) Our degree options and student support focus and how each specifically meets the needs of our intake policy; (4) What makes us different and where we excel; (5) Our learning curve since opening in the UAE – key challenges, key successes; (6) Our financial investment in our faculty and facilities; (7) Our ethics and values framework; (9) Our approach to the UAE and the community within which we operate (10) Why we set up our university, what we have achieved to date – and what we aim to achieve within the next decade.



Aim for 250 – 500 words.

Support the case that your university ploughs back a percentage of investment into facilities and/or faculty salaries and/or resources and/or university improvements and/or specific initiatives to financially support students, year-on-year, to improve and/or sustain Higher Education for students. Please detail your approach and investments over the last five years. Please include a paragraph on how your university has sought to assist students impacted by Covid 19. Discus where you have focused the resources of your school during the last two years and the rationale for doing so. You may wish to provide context through discussion of planned future capital and pathway investment over the next five years, and particularly those responding to specific challenges and learning.



Aim for 500 words to 2000 words.

Describe the story of how your university was established. Draw on the motivations of Owners and Dean to describe the positioning of the University and how it responds to an identified need in UAE Higher Education. Describe your outreach links with (1) UAE schools and (2) students in UAE schools and how you support student choice to consider your university for Higher Education. Please list current university fees for each degree option, together with any bursary or financial support programmes available to students. Provide details of any alumni programmes and the achievements/graduating pathways for your students. Finally, consider the view that: “[o]ur university is uniquely placed to provide world class degree pathways for our students. Today there is no longer any need for students in UAE schools to travel outside the UAE to access a world class university education.”



Aim for 500 Words

Focused on achievements this year, and in the last full pre-Covid year, provide information that is not included above that supports your application to be considered the benchmark university in the UAE “against the odds.” Discuss how Covid 19 has impacted on your university, faculty and the experiences of students – and how your school has responded.



Aim for 1000 – 2000 words.

Collate a document with evidence supporting the above, together with all areas of provision, investment, innovation and achievement that supports your university being considered the benchmark Higher Education provider in the UAE. This should include a supporting quotation from each Head of degree subject area, outlining achievements and research.  A minimum of ten individual supportive quotations should be provided from current students who chose your university whilst at a UAE school. Finally, a contextualising quote should be included from the Dean highlighting in precis the ethics, history, achievements of the university and its contribution to Higher Education, historic, current and planned, in the UAE. We are looking for passion, inspiration, meaningfulness and clear investment in the university’s sense of purpose, values and deep-seated commitment to creating an outstanding globally recognised centre of research and student attainment – one that stands out as a beacon of achievement in Higher Education for students amongst its peers.

In the year the UAE Space Mission orbits Mars, the Top Schools Awards 2021 launches to celebrate schools and innovation in the UAE



Please collate the above information in a Word document. High resolution (inspirational) photography, relevant film, PDF(s), together with any audio files, should be submitted separately with the Word file. Please also include a University Prospectus if that has been produced. 

When your application is completed, these should be sent, in a single email, titled SCTSA21 ‘UNIVERSITY’ with the name of your university, to:

[email protected]

Please note: unless you specifically identify information that is confidential and sensitive and not for publication, any information sent to us may be published and become a statement of public record. It is vital therefor that information provided is accurate.




To download the complete official entry form for the Top Schools Awards 2021 – Best University in the UAE, click here.


Completed entries must be received no later than 7th July 2021.

#sctsa21 © 2021. All rights reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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