The UAE has ranked 19th among a list of global countires which have the most knowledge-based society and economy.
A report released as part of the Global Knowledge Index and carried out by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revealed that the UAE moved up 6 places from last year’s ranking – from 25 to 19. The economy index also ranked the country as second worldwide.
The report was made up of a total of 134 countries and some of the determinants taken into account included pre-university education, technical and vocational education and training, higher education, research development and innovation, information and communications technology, economy and enabling environment.
Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, the USA and Luxembourg ranked as the top five in that consecutive order, whilst Yemen ranked last.
Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF, said the country is working towards ranking in first place in the same way the Emirati passport recently did.
He said: "The Global Knowledge Index is the only one index that measures knowledge on the level of 134 countries. The UAE's rank moved up and this is a very good performance. This performance is exceptional for countries because this proves that certain countries are performing well in knowledge.
"The strategy of the UAE focuses on developing education, infrastructure of education and innovation - this was reflected in the results of the index. The countries that are ahead of the UAE in the index are countries in Asia or Europe who have a long experience in the field of knowledge. Like the UAE passport is ranked number one, we are looking forward to be ranked number one in the knowledge level."
Pre-university education was one of the UAE’s highest-scoring components, ranking 13th out of 134 countries. It also ranked 14th in the technical and vocational education and training component.
According to Dr Hany Torky, chief technical adviser at the UNDP, the UAE’s ranking improved thanks to the implementation of various technology in fields such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. He also said that in order to someday rank first, more will have to be invested into technologies.
"It's very difficult for any country to jump up one or two levels so easily, but the UAE has a good performance in seven sectoral indices. For example, in university education, the rank in 2017 was 16, but this year it is 13. Technical vocational education was ranked 24 but now it's 14. Ten steps in one year is very important to the UAE, this means they have a very fast development. They have a good and efficient strategy for education and ICT. For ICT, it was ranked 23rd in 2017 and this year its ranked 16.
"They have to look to technology, for example artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, biotechnology, blockchain and future skills related to these technologies. Technology plays the main role in a knowledge economy and the UAE is building the link between technology, labour market and the economy," he said.
Dr.Torky, when queried about what the UAE’s weakness is, he said, “All oil countries have a low rank in environment. CO2 mission and renewable energy have a low rank within oil countries. If the UAE works towards improving enabling environment, maybe in one year, the country will be among top 10 countries.”
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