The classification criteria for top universities in the UAE were unveiled at The National Higher Education Institutions Classification Framework media round table held on Thursday. This framework evaluates and categorizes institutions based on national performance metrics aligned with four main dimensions: teaching quality and student life, employment and job market alignment, scientific research and innovation, and international collaboration. The UAE is strongly emphasizing scientific research and innovations, as well as teaching quality, with each being assigned 35 per cent in the National Higher Education Institutions Classification Framework. Dr Sameera Almulla, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Curriculum Sector and Director of Certificate Equivalency Department at the Ministry of Education, told Khaleej Times during the event, “We are currently classifying, not ranking, the universities. This classification phase is exclusively for ‘research’ universities, with the classification for ‘non-research’ universities to be announced in a few weeks.” The national classification framework is built on four pillars: scientific research and innovation at 35 per cent, teaching quality also at 35 per cent, employment and job market alignment at 20 per cent, and international collaborations at 10 per cent. Institutions are divided into two main categories: research institutions and non-research institutions of higher education, further classified into four levels within each category. The goal of this framework is to raise the standards of educational institutions, promote the adoption of best academic practices, and foster an educational environment that improves both the quality of education and the overall student experience. Previously, the Cabinet had approved a national framework to classify higher education institutions in the UAE, including both public and private institutions.