Where To Apply: 10 Universities With Undergraduate Engineering In The UAE


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Schools are wrapping up their finals exams, and universities and colleges have opened applications across the U.A.E, but which university has what you’re looking for? Where should you apply? The task of choosing looks taxing when you don’t have enough information to make an informed decision, so we thought we’d give you a hand.

As we all know, the word on the street counts for more than all-promising advertisements and beautifully crafted websites in the U.A.E – You want to know how good the faculty is, what the student culture is like, how difficult the courses are, sports facilities, and of course, job placement programs.

TADA – B-Change brings you a comprehensive list of 5+5 universities offering Undergraduate Engineering in the UAE [with the word from the street]:

*Disclaimer: The street rates are an average of B-Change’s exchanges with existing and past students from these institutions [randomly selected].

1. BITS Pilani

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The Good:

A reputed University from India, this college boasts an experienced faculty with tried and tested methods of instruction and teaching. The fee structure is highly economical compared to other universities in Dubai and Sharjah – a definite win. They do notably well in inter-collegiate sports competitions. They organize the BITS Sports festival and MUN.

The Bad:

Although this is a given [since it is an Indian University], you will have limited social exposure to other nationalities and cultures –people skills that go a long way in the Middle East. The traditional and highly structured environment may limit creativity.

Experience speaks:

Ahmad Hasan, an alumnus of BITS Pilani weighs in,

“The facilities on campus are on par with other universities, but this is only for some streams.

A comment on the faculty is tricky as a whole, since it largely depends on your learning style – there’s a mix of interactive and theory-focused professors [the best way is to navigate via the expertise of your friendly seniors]. Faculty, much like school, is the ultimate governing power at BITs and the courses are scheduled with a few electives. Personally, I thought it limited how much I was able to innovate in my field.

Student culture, on the other hand, if you choose to dive in, is quite rich and active year-round – especially in the hostels [Don’t make the mistake of calling them dorms!]. At BITS, your experience basically depends on the people you surround yourself with – surround yourself with active, ambitious fun people and you’ll have a great ride through.”

Courses Offered:

B.E. (Hons.) Chemical Engineering

B.E. (Hons.) Electrical & Electronics Engineering

B.E. (Hons.) Mechanical Engineering

B.E. (Hons.) Computer Science

B.E. (Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering

B.E. (Hons.) Biotechnology

B.E. (Hons.) Electronics & Communication Engineering

Annual Fees:

AED 39,500. For more information, take a look detailed fee structure here.

The college offers a variety of scholarships and discounts. Take a look here.

Street Rates*

Academics [Course +Faculty]: 7.9/10

Socializing & Student Culture: 8/10

Job Placement Program: 6.5/10

Finance & Expenses: 9.5/10

2. American University of Sharjah

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The Good:

Word on the street says these are gruelling programs, but engineering graduates from AUS are considered highly employable because of it. AUS offers a lot of socializing opportunities, with a highly multicultural mix of students and many active student clubs. With a dedicated sports facility and courses offered in theatre, painting, music, AUS ranks high on all-round development and gives students room to let creativity seep into their engineering designs.

The Bad:

On the other hand, the fees are quite high and for some departments of engineering. The registration process for classes at AUS is commonly acknowledged as the most caffeine-fuelled day of them all – If you aren’t alert and prepared, you might not get the courses you wanted!

Experience speaks:

Jaffer Abbas, an AUS alumnus who studied Mechanical Engineering [and survived] says: “In spite of having developed an impressive faculty over time, one of the only problems AUS faces is a failure to hang onto experienced professors for select courses. With a little help from your colleagues and seniors, you’ll find your fit.”

Of the student culture, Abbas commented: “Student culture at the university is a large positive. You’d find it easy to build friendships – so many people with such different tastes. Freshman are welcomed warmly by Juniors and Seniors who are helpful and quite accommodating. Clubs are plentiful with club fairs every semester. There’s never a dull moment on campus.”

Courses offered:

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Annual Fees:

AED 89,720 per academic year.

The University offers financial aid of up to 50%. Any new entrant also gets a 10% merit scholarship, provided they get 95% in their last year of secondary education. Details here.

Street Rates* 

Academics [Course +Faculty]: 8.2/10

Socializing & Student Culture: 8.6/10

Job Placement Program: 7.6/10

Finance & Expenses: 5/10

3. Heriot Watt

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The Good:

Hailing from Scotland, much can be said about the bustling clubs and student activities at the University, with an opportunity for inter-cultural exchange with students from Scotland. The campus is an inviting space with few students and individual attention from a nurturing faculty.  The faculty is said to be quite good and incredibly interactive with students.

The Bad:

Quite young in the Middle East, they are quickly growing and developing, but are yet to find their way into having a well-known job placement program in place for engineering [The job placements for Business and other fields is quite developed]. Teaching of technical skills is relatively low leading to a lower opportunity for practical application.

Experience Speaks:

Alishba Ghauri, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student, gives us the lowdown:

“The best bit about HW? The student culture – we have sports days, cultural days. There’s always an event on campus. We have frequent career fairs, but internship opportunities for engineers are not highlighted.

The faculty has an open-door policy and I’d encourage new students to head straight to the professor’s office for any doubts.

The one thing our university could use is a bigger focus on practical skills – teaching softwares, interacting with other universities, taking part in exhibitions and intercollegiate engineering competitions – it could go a long, long way in helping us in the job arena.”

Courses Offered:

Mechanical Engineering BEng / BEng (Hons)

Electrical & Electronic Engineering BEng / BEng (Hons)

Chemical Engineering BEng (Hons)

Civil Engineering BEng (Hons)

Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons)

Architectural Engineering BEng (Hons)

Annual Fees:

AED 58,000. They also offer scholarships programs and discounts. Take a look here.

Street Rates*

Academics [Course +Faculty]: 7.5/10

Socializing & Student Culture: 8/10

Job Placement Program: 6.8/10

Finance & Expenses: 7.6/10

4. Manipal University, Dubai

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The Good:

This University can help mold you into a better version of yourself with its well-rounded development programs, clubs and activities. The course content is quite organized with a decent faculty backing it up.  They have a commendable internship and job placement program with dedicated counselors and administration staff – a feature that is lacking in many other universities in Dubai.

The Bad:

Again, as it is with Indian structures, the traditional method of teaching leaves little room for experimentation. The faculty needs to be more hands-on with their instruction since there is too much emphasis on theoretical learning. An on-ground and ongoing research clause for faculty members may help keep updated with the times.

Experience Speaks:

Waqaar Ali Khan, an alumnus from Civil Engineering tells us more:

“What prospective students need to know about Manipal is this – it will leave you with a lot of fond memories, but that is if you’re active in clubs and extra-curricular.

The downside?  The strict rules and attendance policies restrict you from getting too involved. The risk of a backlog might keep you from doing GITEX, or taking part in the Engineering event Technovenza [organized by Engineering dept].

You’ll find a level of comfort with the Desi crowd time and a pretty fun social life. As far as job placements go, the student recruitment officers are very approachable – if you’re flexible and decent, you’ll land a job.”

Courses Offered:

BSc – Applied Science

BTech – Chemical Engineering

BTech – Civil Engineering

BTech – Computer Science and Engineering

BTech – Electronics and Communication

Annual Fees:

AED 39,000. Manipal also offers AED 2 million worth of scholarships. Click here to know more.

Street Rates*

Academics [Course +Faculty]: 7/10

Socializing & Student Culture: 8.7/10

Job Placement Program: 8.9/10

Finance & Expenses: 8/10

5. American University in Dubai

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The Good:

With a reputed name in Dubai, AUD has a very specific thus strong student culture – with the Humanitarian and Filmmakers clubs active on all fronts [always making the news]. The course content is well organized and the facilities on campus are top-notch. The faculty is highly interactive and encouraging, promoting innovation and creativity inside and outside the classroom. The job placement program is a lot more developed than other universities in the U.A.E.

The Bad:

The fees are considered quite high, with a lot of fringe expenses that come with socializing at AUD.

Experience Speaks:

A source from AUD, who chose to remain anonymous, gives us the details:

“Considering the fact that the Engineering department at AUD is still quite young, the collection of faculty is quite impressive. Picking the right professors for you is a knowledge game; you need to know what you’re looking for, in terms of interactivity and experience, and which professor can meet your expectations.

The workload is what you have to watch out for – it’s strenuous. On the other hand, it teaches you a lot. Student culture is quite strong and active – you’ll meet a group you’ll fit into, whoever you are.”

Courses Offered:

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.)

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (B.S.Comp.E.)

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.)

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)

Annual Fees:

AED 75,000 [excluding Summers]. The University offers many scholarships – Take a look here to know more.

Street Rates*

Academics [Course +Faculty]: 7.2/10

Socializing & Student Culture: 8.5/10

Job Placement Program: 7.6/10

Finance & Expenses: 5.6/10

Other Universities that offer Engineering:

If you belong to any of these colleges/universities, then give high school grads a hand & leave a comment below reviewing your time there [Faculty, Fun, Fees]. Sure they’d appreciate your honest feedback.

University Of Sharjah

University of Wollongong

Dubai Men’s College

Rochester Institute of Technology

Canadian University

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