Educational Cooperation Agreement with the University of Texas Austin

19 Mar 2010


In the presence of  Dr.Sulaiman AlJassim, Vice President of Zayed University, an educational cooperation agreement was signed between the College of Education of Zayed University and the School of Social Work University of Texas Austin, USA. The signing ceremony was also attended by Daniel Johnson, Provost of Zayed University, Safia AlRaqbani, Chief Development Officer; Afra AlBasti, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWC) - along with other officials of the two universities.

The Agreement was signed by Peggy Blackwell, Dean of College of Education of Zayed University, and co-signed by Barbara White, Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Texas Austin. This Agreement aims for the development and progress of higher education programs in social work at Zayed University.

Dr.Sulaiman AlJassim expressed the importance of this agreement as it would help to provide a valuable addition to the Masters programs offered by Zayed University, particularly in the field of social work which is linked to the daily needs of people's life and provides them with opportunities to apply the latest scientific and academic theories in the institutions and organizations which work in this field. It also helps students in the development of professional performance so that they can provide services based on scientific standards. He also pointed out that Zayed University is keen to add programs and majors that are compatible with the interests of both the society and the labor markets of different fields, through the best teaching methods used in the most prestigious international universities, as per the directives of H.H Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, President of Zayed University. Sheikh Nahayan continues to emphasize the need for the highest levels and standards in the curricula and programs of all colleges and departments of the university. Zayed University's outcomes will correspond with, or supersede, most those which are offered in international universities. Meanwhile, Zayed University programs meet the joint integration and interdependence between different areas of knowledge and culture, while keeping the values and elements of the Arab and Islamic heritage as well as the world around. Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim also pointed out that social work has become a profession that works in different settings and always needs to have its concepts developed and its vocabulary or tools updated. He concluded by stressing that the programs resulting from this agreement will reflect these ideas from both scientific and academic perspectives.

On her part, Peggy Blackwell, Dean of College of Education at Zayed University, explained that the agreement deals with establishing mutual relations between the College of Education at Zayed University and the School of Social Work at the University of Texas Austin to develop and deliver graduate programs in social work at Zayed University. There will also be exchange of delegations, students and faculty members between the two universities. The agreement will strengthen the various research activities, the exchange of experts through educational seminars, conferences, lectures and information of mutual interests. She said that the two universities will  use a university coordinator for the follow-up of their action plans and programs aiming for development of the performance level.  

Dr.Barbara White, dean of College of Education at the University of Texas Austin, commended the initiative of Zayed University and its commitment to social work by working with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children in this three-way partnership.  She said that the University of Texas looks forward to bringing its faculty and students to this dynamic learning environment. All of this confirms the interest of the UAE leadership in providing high levels of educational programs, which are supported by the fruitful collaboration with Zayed University to provide high levels of education to its students. This is also important in view of the master's program in social work, which Zayed University is preparing to launch in the coming semester, in collaboration with the School of Social Work University of Texas, Austin, USA.