There is no more globalized environment in the world than the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Located at the center of one of the world's most important regions and at a crossroad between East and West, the UAE and the Arabian Gulf in general has emerged in the past quarter century as a strategic global center. In addition, the UAE has a globalized population with a workforce coming from all parts of the world. Built originally on the basis of energy exports, the UAE is rapidly developing as a hub for higher education, medical care, financial services and emerging technologies.
The UAE is subject to the forces of globalization. Despite its wealth and increasingly well-educated population, the region is subject to economic, political, and increasingly cultural and educational trends from abroad. The concern in this chapter is related to higher education—an area that is an excellent case study of globalization, since all of the UAE's higher education institutions have roots elsewhere; and the large majority of faculty members and often students are from abroad.
The UAE's Context of Higher Education Globalization
The UAE's higher education environment is both complex and highly globalized, perhaps to a greater extent than anywhere in the world. Here, broad globalization trends are being described and analyzed as the affect of higher education in a broad context, but it is worth briefly examining the UAE context.