UAE ministry announces rule change on degree recognition

New system will impact job application and qualification for further UAE studies
UAE ministry announces rule change on degree recognition
The process for accrediting academic degrees in the UAE has been streamlined

The Ministry of Education in the UAE has announced a major update to its recognition system for academic degrees obtained from foreign higher education institutions (HEIs).

The new system, called “University Certificates Recognition” (UCR), will replace the old scheme known as “University Qualification Equivalency” and this takes effect from June 2023.

In brief, the major updates in the UCR include the removal of conditions such as attesting degree certificates and the acceptance of degrees obtained from online-only education platforms.

In a statement, the Ministry said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to meet the aspirations of our students and provide them with the best services to support their academic journey and professional career, we are pleased to announce the “University Certificates Recognition” system that recognizes your certificate with speed, ease, and flexibility.”

Streamlined accreditation process

With these changes, it will be easier for graduates from foreign HEIs to obtain their UAE degree recognition so they can easily apply for either higher studies or jobs in the Emirates. Previously, all university and higher degree certificates needed to be attested, which took time, while online-only programs were not recognized.

While the process for UAE degree recognition has now been streamlined, the system will still uphold the UAE’s commitment to maintaining high-quality and credible educational standards.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education, said: “We were committed to ensuring that the new system takes into account those institutions’ international rankings and field of specialization, in alignment with national and Ministry standards.”

Read: What reforms did the UAE make to its educational sector?

More significant updates

In addition, under the UCR system, certain criteria for accreditation were removed, including conditions like credit transfer limits and distance learning credit restrictions.

According to the new system, degrees will also be recognized based on the category or ranking of the HEI where the certificate originated. The ranking mechanism is integrated into the UCR.

For example, a highly ranked HEI (between 1-200) is enough to have the applicant’s degree certified without further conditions or requirements. However, those coming from HEIs with a lower rank will have to comply with more criteria in order to have their degrees accredited.

Specific degree specializations, such as Engineering, Medicine and Law, are immediately accredited once their validity is verified and the university is highly ranked.


The new system has also outlined several criteria for the non-recognition of certain degree certificates, such as if the degree is obtained from an institution in the UAE that is not authorized to operate in the higher education field or that it is not recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Likewise, degree holders coming from non-accreditation institutions in their country of origin will not be given accreditation.

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