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Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi inaugurates the annual convocation at Zayed University

08 Sep 2016

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, inaugurated the annual convocation yesterday at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi campus under the theme of ‘Shaping the Future”.

The one-day event was also attended by Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, Dr Marilyn Roberts, Provost of Zayed University, Deans of colleges and Zayed University staff and faculty members as well as new hires.

In her address to Zayed University community members, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna welcomed new faculty and staff at the beginning of the new academic year, and started by thanking the solid and continuous support of the UAE’s wise leadership headed by the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Her Excellency emphasized in her speech on the importance of sustaining the achievements and gains the University has made over eighteen years of its existence. The attainment of institutional accreditation from the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), and the renewal and affirmation of international accreditation by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education (M.S.C.H.E.). Additional success came with the disciplinary academic accreditations in five of its colleges in their respective specializations, as well as the renewal of all the programs' CAA academic accreditation which is currently underway. All are important and appreciated in the community.

Her Excellency also shed light on the Sheikha Latifa bint Hamdan Al Maktoum Center for Students which was inaugurated last year in Dubai, and The Student Counseling Center that was inaugurated in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai both having different but complementary roles, as the Sheikha Latifa Center focuses on developing students interpersonal skill through activities, to help develop their personalities, and the Student Counseling Center provides the psychological and social counseling services that meet international standards. It helps students to adjust to the University life requirements and to seek assistance when needed.

Moreover, Her Excellency mentioned that, as part of the efforts to improve the University governance, and develop its administrative processes, the University Council approved a set of new policies that ensure compatibility of academic programs with the CAA’s standards. Also support of extra-curricular activities plays an important role in developing the students’ interpersonal skills.

The University Council has considered the possible expansion of programs focusing on the STEM fields in their more comprehensive definition that include majors in the social sciences, given the importance of all these disciplines to the job market in the country. And within this direction has approved the re-structuring of the College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities into two new colleges, namely:  The College of Natural and Health Sciences (CNHS)" and The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), to allow for the expansion of programs offered in both areas.

Her Excellency also stressed on the importance of meeting the aspirations of the Government to raise the UAE competitiveness in the field of research and innovation and identify and develop the areas of contributions of the University in line with the innovation strategy of the Nation. These areas will need to be aligned with the disciplines offered, and should target outcomes that contribute to the National Agenda.

Her Excellency also highlighted the importance of Smart Services and initiatives to achieve the highest standards of efficiency, transparency, and responsibility within proper Governance. Zayed University continues to enhance the Smart Learning Project by equipping the classrooms with state-of-the-art applications and technologies, developing suitable pedagogy, and through the use of iPads, computers and laptops, and other e-learning applications.

Her Excellency concluded by stating that Zayed University also strives to spread awareness on national causes, and promote the values of volunteering and involvement in the various civic and social activities. It will embed the values of Happiness, Positivity and Tolerance within the curricula and programs as well as in the Zayed University colleges and departments, and establish initiative and activities to promote these national values among the institution and the youth of the nation.

Following Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna’s speech, Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, also gave his keynote speech followed by Dr. Marilyn Roberts, Provost of Zayed University before a panel presentation revolving around Zayed University’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021.