Higher Education Authorization

Higher Education Authorization


At the Abu Dhabi Department of Education (ADEK), we oversee all higher education providers operating in Abu Dhabi. Our oversight includes ensuring institution and program alignment with the needs of the Emirate, the programs offered, and assurance that the provision stands up to national and international scrutiny.

Our oversight covers:

  • Authorization of new providers wanting to operate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • Re-authorization of an existing provider
  • Authorization of substantive changes for existing providers wanting to make substantive changes to their activity, mission or location
  • Authorization of a Program for existing providers wanting to offer new Programs

To submit a request for any of the approvals (No Objection Letter) listed above, you are required to follow the steps set out below:

  1. Consult with us prior to submitting an application
  2. Partner with a highly ranked and reputable Higher Education Institution in the proposed fields of study (for new providers)
  3. Submit a formal application to us via the Higher Education Authorization Portal. The application must adhere to ADEK’s Authorization Procedures*, and include the rationale and all relevant evidence

* ADEK’s Institution and Program Authorization Procedures can be found in the Quick Links below.

Failure to comply with the above steps will result in the rejection of the application.

Our issuance of approval (No Objection Letter) confirms your alignment with the strategic imperatives of Abu Dhabi and that the application has stood up to our scrutiny, which includes expert advice from an External Review Panel.

Upon receipt of our approval (No Objection Letter), you can proceed and submit an application for accreditation to the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) at the UAE Ministry of Education (MoE). The application for accreditation should adhere to the MoE procedures and include our No Objection Letter.

For enquiries and support on how to register and submit an application via the Higher Education Authorization Portal, contact authorization@adek.gov.ae.