The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ranked first in the Arab world and 11th globally in the latest Global Knowledge Index (GKI), officials announced on December 12. The event was hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) at the UN Hub at Dubai expo 2020.
Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was the honorary patron of the event (Dubai Culture).
GKI, which has been produced annually by UNDP since 2017, is a summary measure for tracking countries’ knowledge performance in seven areas: pre-university education, technical and vocational training, higher education, research, development, and innovation, information and communications technology, economy, and the general enabling environment.
GKI is also used as a “systematic instrument for directing and enlightening policymakers, researchers, civil society, and the commercial sector on many aspects of policies in order to build knowledge-based societies and overcome knowledge gaps.”
Globally, 154 countries participated in GKI 2021, up from 138 the previous year.
Switzerland was once again placed first in the GKI leaders for 2021 and has held the top spot for the fifth year in a row. Sweden came in second, with the United States coming in third. Finland and the Netherlands finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Singapore, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland rounded out the top ten.
The UAE finished 11th worldwide and first in the Arab world, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who were 38th and 40th internationally, respectively.
Pre-university education had the highest performance rate in the UAE, at 60.8 per cent, followed by the enabling environment (55.3 per cent), the economy (52.9 per cent), technical learning and professional training (51.2 per cent), higher education (46.1 per cent), ICT (43.3 per cent), and research and development and innovation (43.3 per cent) (31.4 per cent) respectively.
According to UNDP officials, this year has witnessed increased global and regional engagement in GKI, with nations such as Iraq and Palestine making their debut.