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Not-For-Profit Schools: The UAE’s “Ivy League”

The not-for-profit schools have been dubbed the ‘UAE’s Ivy-League’ – steeped in tradition and history, (well, lengthy at least by UAE standards), seats in these schools have for years- been exceedingly hard to come by.

The KHDA defines the not-for-profit schools as ‘a school that exists purely for educational reasons; one which is governed by an independent Board with parent representation and from which its shareholders, trustees or any third parties do not benefit financially. Fiscal surpluses, if any, are put back into the institution to further the pursuit of its goals,’ lofty ambitions indeed, but do the not-for-profit schools REALLY live up to the hype?

While one or two of the not-for-profit schools fall short of the exceedingly high bench-mark set by the vast majority, the rest achieve more academically and pastorally than almost all of the newer, more commercial schools could only wish to. The age is the secret for many not-for-profit schools, established decades ago, most have low or no rent to pay, no investors requiring dividends and therefore they can spend significantly more money on improving and upgrading facilities and staff salaries.

Born out of necessity, the not-for-profit schools were a product of their time. In the days when the UAE was a pioneering expat outpost, companies hoping to send employees here needed to find home-country curriculum schooling solutions if they hoped to get the brightest and best out to work. Setting up the not-for-profit schools was the solution, and even today many of these original companies still have seats on boards AND seats in the classroom.

Today however, the commercial climate is much changed and it would be foolish to assume the not-for-profit model will be resurrected any time soon and it remains – at the moment, highly unlikely we will see any new contenders entering the scene. There is no doubt however everyone from the regulator downwards would like to work out how to get more Not for Profit philosophy into mainstream private schools.

WhichSchoolAdvisor.com investigates the top not-for-profit schools across the UAE and collates the ratings, fees, hype and yes, even the ‘lingo!’

Read on to find out discover the UAE’s top schools and their most recent ratings…


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