Knowledge and Human Development Authority

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Emirate of Dubai
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)
هيئة المعرفة والتنمية البشرية
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Emirate of Dubai
Headquarters Dubai
Coordinates: 25°7′26″N 55°24′37″E / 25.12389°N 55.41028°E / 25.12389; 55.41028
Agency executives
  • Dr Abdulla Al Karam, (Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors)
  • Fatma Al Marri, CEO, Dubai Schools Agency

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is the educational quality assurance and regulatory authority of the Government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It oversees the private education sector in Dubai, including early childhood education centres, schools, higher education providers, and training institutes.

KHDA was established by decree in 2006, under the directive of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and the Ruler of Dubai), with the aim of developing the education and human resource sectors in the Dubai emirate to the level of international standards and best practice.[1]

Rather than checking stand-alone accreditation for higher education institutions like the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation, the KHDA checks for equivalence with the same course at another institution (normally abroad).[2] It covers the academic free zones in Dubai, such as Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village.

The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB), a part of the KHDA, is a group of inspectors who assess the schools in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Inspectors use a four-point scale to express their judgements. The four levels on the scale are defined as follows:

  1. Outstanding - Exceptionally high quality of performance or practice.
  2. Good - The expected level for every school in Dubai.
  3. Acceptable - The minimum level of acceptability required for Dubai. All key aspects of performance and practice in every school should meet or exceed this level.
  4. Unsatisfactory - Quality not yet at the level acceptable for schools in Dubai. Schools will be expected to take urgent measures to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or practice that is judged at this level.


KHDA publishes the rating of each inspected school in Dubai on its website and in the Dubai School Inspections Bureau (DSIB) Annual Report. The DSIB annual report is released each September. A detailed report on each inspected school is also available online. In 2012 KHDA has announced an agreement with the Department of Education and the UK Government to inspect British schools in Dubai.

KHDA aims at improving quality of American Education in Dubai as it is evident from a recent accreditation agreement with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

What Works[edit]

What Works is a unique initiative to help transform Dubai's private education sector through collaboration. With the support of private schools in Dubai and local community partners, What Works was initiated in September 2012. Based on the principles of Appreciative Inquiry, What Works is a unique programme for teachers and school leaders in Dubai's private education sector, designed to increase collaboration within the sector and improve student outcomes. Centred on six events taking place each academic year, What Works brings together subject teachers, heads and principals to share what they do best at their schools.

A central tenet of What Works is that it relies on local expertise to strengthen the overall quality of education in Dubai. During each What Works event, teachers participate in workshops given by their colleagues at other schools. What Works also promotes a culture of collaboration between schools throughout the year. In its Head to Head programme, principals and subject heads visit on another's schools to share best practices. This is a particularly unique innovation given Dubai's private schools landscape, which includes schools teaching 15 different curricula. Quite often, the learning exchanges involve schools offering different curricula.

School Parent Contract[edit]

KHDA launched a new legally binding initiative outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parents and schools in June 2013. As proper business establishments, Dubai private schools will be bonded to their customers by School Parent Contract. The first schools to introduce the contracts at the start of the 2013/2014 academic year will be Dubai Modern Education School, Al Ittihad Private School – Al Mamzar, Al Ittihad Private School – Jumeirah, School of Modern Skills, Greenwood International School and American Academy in Al Mizhar.


  1. ^ About KDHA, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai.
  2. ^ Rawazik, Wessen; Carroll, Martin (April 2009). "Complexity in Quality Assurance in a Rapidly Growing Free Economic Environment: A UAE Case Study". Quality in Higher Education. 15 (1): 79–83. doi:10.1080/13538320902731443. 

External links[edit]