The transition from school to higher education is full of excitement and anticipation for many students. Leaving school is often considered to be one of the main steps to greater individual responsibility and the path to adulthood. One of the most difficult challenges in this transition period is determining a student’s preferred course of study. Making such a high-stakes decision is often confusing and troubling for many young people, but can often be helped by using a variety of information sources, such as support from family, friends and peers, or through using career days and prospectuses to identify the programs which best fit the individual’s needs. This policy brief reflects on highereducation choices for secondary school leavers who choose to study in Dubai and discusses the impact of key influencers in such a decision. It also discusses the challenges and opportunities in Dubai’s private higher education landscape before identifying some policy recommendations.