Primary and secondary education is compulsory and is provided to all UAE citizens. The existing educational structure, which was established in the early 1970s, is a four-tier system covering 14 years of education.
4 to 5 year olds attend kindergarten, 6 to11 year olds attend primary schools, the preparatory stage caters for children aged between 12 to 14 years and 15 to 17 year olds attend secondary school. After that students may apply to a higher college or university.
The UAE is home to a wide range of universities, both public and private. Nationals can attend government institutions free of charge and the UAE has one of the highest application participation rates in the world.