Heriot-Watt's Dubai Campus takes the lead in degrees certification

Professor Ammar Kaka, Head of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus and Ms Wessen Rawazik, Director of Higher Education KHDA

Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus is the first university in Dubai International Academic City to certify its graduates' degrees by the Knowledge  and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

The 'certified' degrees are issued in line with Decree 21 of 2011 issued by the Dubai Executive Council, which mandates public and private sector companies in Dubai to accept degrees issued by higher education providers in Dubai's free zones.

"This is a landmark step for students, universities and the KHDA. It is a huge boost to students that their degrees are recognised by all public and private sector entities in Dubai, and a sign that the quality of private higher education on offer in Dubai is indeed world-class." said Wessen Rawazik, Director of Higher Education of Regulations and Compliance commission (RCC) at KHDA.

It is a huge boost to students that their degrees are recognised by all public and private sector entities in Dubai, and a sign that the quality of private higher education on offer in Dubai is indeed world-class.

Wessen Rawazik, Director of Higher Education of Regulations and Compliance commission at KHDA

Once certified in English and Arabic, each degree will have a stamp and a QR tag, which will link student details to a central database containing academic information. The decree was implemented with an objective to help students graduating from free zone universities in Dubai to secure employment in the emirate without hassles.

It is mandatory for universities in Dubai to get new degrees earned from the 2012 academic year to be verified and certified by the KHDA before being awarded to students. The KHDA has also requested past graduates to submit their degrees for certification as and when needed, as they need to be submitted by universities on behalf of students.

The first degrees to be certified came from Heriot-Watt University, which submitted 15 certificates. A further seven institutions have also presented their students' qualifications for certification. "Currently we have over 6,500 students registered in our database for certification," added Wessen.