Licensing and Accreditation

Criteria and guidelines for the establishment of a new Higher Education Institute:

  • To consult The Department of Education and Knowledge prior to submitting the application.
  • To obtain a (no objection letter) from the Department of Knowledge and Education, and then submit an application for initial licensure to the Ministry of Education.
  • The Applicant must have partnered with a highly ranked and reputable Higher Education Institution in the proposed fields of study.
  • Failure to comply with the above-mentioned prerequisites will result in the rejection of the application.

Prerequisites for establishing new programs in existing Higher Education Institutions in Abu Dhabi:

  • Consult The Department of Education and Knowledge prior to submitting the application.
  • The Applicant must have partnered with a highly ranked and reputable higher education institution in the proposed fields of study.
  • Failure to comply with the above mentioned prerequisites will result in the rejection of the application.

*In exceptional cases, an exception may be granted to the cases that are supported by a federal or Emirate level decree.

Licensing of Higher Education Institutions

  • Institutions wishing to renew their license from the Ministry or those wishing to obtain approval for changes in the nature of its operations or premises or seek to relocate or open a new branch must comply with the licensing procedures.
  • Institutions wishing to offer new academic programs must obtain the approval of the Department of Education and Knowledge prior to applying for the initial accreditation from the Commission of Academic Accreditation, and shall proceed after the Department determines the date of commencement.

*The issuing of the no objection letter from the Department of Education and Knowledge does not guarantee the approval of the Commission of Academic Accreditation at the Ministry for the issuing of the initial licensure.

Renewal of Licenses for Higher Education Institutions

  • Obtain a (no objection letter) from the Department of Education and Knowledge prior to submitting an application for the renewal of license from the Ministry Of Education.
  • If the institution wishes to perform substantive changes in the nature of its operations and premises or seeks to relocate or open a new branch, it must obtain a (no objection letter) from the Department of Education and Knowledge prior to submitting the application to the Ministry of Education.

For more information on the prerequisites for the renewal of the license of a higher education institution currently operating in Abu Dhabi and to obtain authorization of substantive changes, please click here.

Link for “criteria, guidelines and procedures for the licensing of new higher education institutions and the renewal of licenses for existing institutions operating in Abu Dhabi.

Prerequisites for Establishing New Programs

Institutions wishing to offer new academic programs must obtain the preliminary approval from the Department of Education and Knowledge prior to applying for the initial accreditation of these programs from the Commission of Academic Accreditation.