Building a sustainable higher education sector in the UAE
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevant economic aspects that could affect the sustainability of the HE sector in the UAE. Design/methodology/approach Data are collected mainly through secondary sources and based on the relevant information. Two constructs, namely, market factors and educational governance are identified from the literature. An empirical model depicting the different factors that contribute to these two variables is outlined. Findings Educational governance and market factors are identified as the key pillars which contribute to the economic efficiency in the HE sector in the UAE. These constructs are affected by relevant factors. Some of the issues relating to educational governance could be controlled. Though factors contributing to market conditions could be deemed uncontrollable, HE institutions could come up with better strategies to deal with those issues. Research limitations/implications The UAE HE sector could be a major contributor to the economy in the future, it is important to identify the main constructs and the associated forces which could impact the economic efficiency of the HE sector. The model proposed could be empirically tested in future studies. Originality/value This study is a novel attempt to examine sustainability in the HE sector in terms of economic efficiency, while previous studies have focused on the social and environmental aspect of the sustainability in the HE sector. Thus this study tries to address this lacuna in this domain by focusing on the economic efficiency aspect which is an important contributor to the sustainable development. The results may provide valuable insights for universities and regulators in developing appropriate strategies to improve the HE sector.