The system of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is a community of close to 23,000 students and 2,000 staff based on 16 modern, technology-enhanced campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Fujairah, Madinat Zayed, Ras Al Khaimah, Ruwais and Sharjah, making it the largest higher education institution in the UAE.

Founded in 1988 by Federal Decree the HCT has developed rapidly where it has a well-respected reputation for innovative and hands-on, workplace relevant teaching and learning methodologies, which are based on practical, experiential learning.

HCT offers many different, work-relevant, English-taught programmes in Applied Media, Business, Computer Information Science, Engineering Technology & Science, Health Sciences and Education at various levels. All programmes are designed in consultation with business and industry leaders to ensure the students’ skills are job-relevant and to the highest standards.

Students learn in a technologically sophisticated, e-learning environment that encourages development of independent and life-long learning skills.

HCT graduates are eagerly sought by employers as they are capable of operating effectively in today’s global business environment. Over 70,000 academic credentials have been awarded to its graduates since 1991.

The HCT has established dynamic relationships with UAE companies and organisations and the world’s leading universities and organisations.


The Higher Colleges of Technology is the leading applied higher education institution in empowering generations to contribute to the shaping of the future of the UAE.


Provide applied higher education to equip generations with knowledge, skills and competencies that meet international standards and the future needs of the UAE industry and society.


  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Respect
  • Community Spirit
  • Service to Society


In 1985, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University, made a commitment to establish a new system of post-secondary education for UAE Nationals that would stress the ideals of productivity, self-determination and excellence.

His Excellency envisioned a system of the highest quality that would be used to educate Nationals for the professional and technical careers necessary in a rapidly developing society.

In fulfillment of that vision, the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) was established in 1988 by Federal Law No 2 issued by the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace.

Four colleges commenced that year. Since then, thirteen additional colleges and the Center of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) have opened throughout the Emirates to form the system of the Higher Colleges of Technology.


The Higher Colleges of Technology constitute a federal independent academic corporate body for higher education established under Federal Law No. 2 of 1988 and later re-organized under Federal Law no. 17 of 1998. Under the authority of Federal Law no. 17, the HCT confers degrees at the Master’s, Bachelor and Applied Diploma levels.

The HCT operates as a system of 16 separate campuses for male and female students in urban and rural locations in five Emirates. The headquarters are located in the city of Abu Dhabi.

The HCT is governed by a Governing Council which includes the Chancellor, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, who was appointed in April 2018 and who replaced H.E. Mohammad Omran Al Shamsi, who, in turn, replaced H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development in April 2013; the President/CEO Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi and other qualified and experienced members from various sectors in the UAE, appointed by the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Chancellor. The Chancellor is the legal representative of the HCT system.

The President/CEO (formerly known as the Vice Chancellor) is responsible for the management of the HCT and the implementation of its regulations and resolutions. Deputy Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs, Administration, Campus Operations and Strategy & Future have been respectively appointed to lead HCT’s academic and administrative departments.

Each of the core program Faculties is led by an Executive Dean, who ensures that, on an academic basis, all courses offered in the respective programs are operating satisfactorily and provide students with optimal learning experiences. The Executive Deans work closely with the respective College Directors, who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the colleges.