Seven out of 10 university students intend to stay in the UAE after graduation, according to the latest Qudurat Wave III report

Saturday 08 October 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: The number of university students planning to stay in the UAE after graduating has risen 19 percent since 2013, to 69 percent, according to the 2016 Qudurat Wave III: Report commissioned by Aon Hewitt (NYSE: AON) and Dubai International Academic City, with course satisfaction, preparation for private sector careers and job opportunities among the reasons for a rise in Dubai’s ability to attract and retain global talent.

The findings of the report were revealed at an event hosted by Aon Hewitt and Dubai International Academic City, with 84 percent of students said to be satisfied with their course of study. The launch event, hosted at Dubai Knowledge Park, demonstrated findings of the report, and highlighted Dubai’s position as a desired academic destination for students. The report also points to a 36 percent drop in the number of Emirati students pursuing a career in the public sector. One in four Emirati students expressed an interest in becoming entrepreneurs and starting a business.

Commenting on the importance of the findings, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City, said: “Having a strong academic ecosystem in Dubai will provide students who aspire to create the economies of tomorrow with the infrastructure that is needed to get there. As Dubai seeks to create an innovative economy, findings from the 2016 Qudurat report demonstrate how aspirations of students are changing and how young people are becoming far more entrepreneurial and optimistic about their future, because of the opportunities to fulfil their ambitions in Dubai.”

Elias Dib, Partner, Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “The UAE is a fast-paced labour market with unique challenges. The study findings point to the changing expectations and aspirations of the new employees entering the workforce with a clear shift towards more realistic expectations from their employers as well as a stronger entrepreneurial sentiment. The insights provided should definitely help policy makers, business leaders and HR professionals develop comprehensive talent strategies to attract, develop and retain the best university graduates.”

Findings from the Qudurat Student Wave III study highlight that organisations and academia will need to make concerted efforts to forge strong and collaborative partnerships and seek coordinated solutions in preparing students to face upcoming workplace challenges.

Summary of findings:

Increase in popularity of the private sector and entrepreneurship as career path upon graduation among Emirati students
Only 17 percent Emiratis opting to work for the public sector in this wave of the study as compared to 53 percent in the previous wave. 26 percent Emiratis mentioned that they want to start their own business whilst 22 percent want to work in the semi-government sector.
Emirati female students don’t want to be homemakers
Of the Emirati female students surveyed, none of them (0 percent) wanted to become a homemaker with a majority wanting to study further or start their own business.
Expatriate students largely preferred to pursue a career in the private sector
One in every five expatriates also chose to go down the entrepreneurial route post completion of their studies.

Data for the Qudurat report, which means ’capabilities’ in Arabic, was collected from 996 national, transnational, and resident students enrolled at 10 academic institutions across Dubai, making it one of the most comprehensive studies in the region to focus on the advancement of national talent.

The study provides in-depth insights into the preferences and orientations among current and future workforces in the UAE, with the objective of informing the national agenda, aligning education and industry and driving economy productivity as Dubai transitions to a knowledge-based economy.

The Qudurat research initiative is a longstanding regional initiative that has been conducted annually every three years since 2009. The first and second edition of the report have represented the voices of 27,000 respondents in seven countries, with support from over 150 organisations and institutions.

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