H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi inaugurates Zayed University's 17th Annual Convocation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

08 Sep 2014

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, President of Zayed University urged Zayed University faculty and staff to work faithfully and whole-heartedly in order for the University to remain a real symbol of a national university which is committed to excellence.  

In her opening address at Zayed University’s 17th Convocation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, she said: “The opportunity is now available for us to reformulate our ambitions, to set new goals, and to rise to the level of expectations.”

“We are this year embarking on a new academic phase, which requires us to work in an exemplary manner as one team, and endeavor to exceed all projected expectations,” she assured.

The Convocation’s inaugural session was attended by both Members of the University Council, H.E. Maryam Mohammad Al-Rumaithi, Director-General of Family Development Foundation, and H.E Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, Deputy Director-General of Abu Dhabi Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, along with H.E Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, the newly appointed Vice-President of Zayed University.

H.E Sheikha Lubna lauded professor AlMehaideb, who joined Zayed University from UAE University, where he served as Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies. “I am very confident that the appointment of Dr. AlMehaideb will mark a significant milestone for the University, and will increase our confidence in our ability, not only to achieve all the ambitions we aspire to the University, but raise the bar of these ambitions, too.” She also stated that “we are in the ongoing process to appoint the Provost of the University.”

H.E Sheikha Lubna affirmed the full commitment of the University’s leadership to the following:

1) Ensure completion of the Leadership Organizational Structure of the University as soon as possible.

2) Attract, recruit, and retain top-qualified faculty and staff members, and provide a healthy work environment, based on mutual respect and reassurance, and instill team work spirit, while setting specific regulated mechanisms, to foster the exchange of ideas, and establishing rights and obligations, which shall be clear and informed to all.

3) Stimulate the principle of consultation and participation in decision-making, and set the principles of collective governance, in the framework of the observed policies and rules that comply with the international best practices.

4) Develop the systems and procedures that help to attract UAE nationals to work at the University, and ensure all opportunities of success and advancement for their development.

5) Ensure continuous evaluation of all our work, and in particular, of our educational programs, and consider international accreditation standards as the minimum requirements of our set standards of quality and excellence. Here, we must also draw the plans and set the indicators to ensure full achievement of learning outcomes of all programs and courses, as defined by the University and its colleges.

6) Develop the policies and procedures needed that would encourage faculty members to carry out scientific research, and provide them with appropriate support, especially in terms of developing priorities in the country and the region.

7) Full and continuous recognition of the University workforce, distinctive work and sincere efforts, while continuously appreciating and voicing their efforts, inside and outside the University.

Tackling the issues and concerns of the educational process, H.E Sheikha Lubna considered the responsibility of the University and Faculty towards Students “a very pivotal topic, and at the heart of the university work.”

“Though the university learning value is usually measured by the performance level of its graduates in the labor market, this is however, not sufficient, in my opinion, to reflect the value of the University outputs, which should also include, on equal basis of importance, the values and principles that the University instills in its graduates, to shape them as engaged and effective citizens who would contribute to the building of their nation,” she stated.

“We must endeavor to help students at the University to enrich their self-balanced personalities, and strengthen their abilities to bear responsibilities. These goals can be only achieved by focusing on the development of their conduct, boosting their integrity and honesty values, upgrading their dedicated work, and enhancing their abilities to achieve their goals,” she clarified.

Meanwhile, she redefined the role of the faculty members advising them to exceed the traditional academic stereotype and build up students with well-balanced personalities. “Good citizenship attributes can only be reinforced through practical examples and role models, which is indeed the role of faculty,” she pointed out.

She added that, “Faculty at Zayed University shall be engaged inside and outside the classrooms, and shall be role models of good citizenship, in their thoughts, words and deeds.”

Following H.E Sheikha Lubna’ speech, Prof. AlMehaideb gave a presentation on the current developments and major upcoming happenings on Zayed University’s calendar. He stated that the institution at-large is recognized and accredited internationally by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education (MSCHE), and the academic programs are comparable with the best program globally, with “most of our programs accredited by international accrediting boards such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Standards (NCATE), and others”.

He also congratulated the “College of Technological Innovation” for the latest ABET accreditation of 2 programs (Information Systems and Technology Management and Information Technology-Specialization in Security and Network Technologies), and expect continued accreditation efforts for the remaining colleges and programs.  He added that “the College of Communication and Media Sciences will have its accreditation team visit next month and we are confident that the college will do well and achieve its accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)”.

In that context, Prof. AlMehaideb also mentioned that Zayed University is due for a monitoring review visit by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education (MSCHE) by the end of the month, and to complete its national institutional accreditation by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Zayed University is due to link up its strategic and action plans submitted to the Prime Minister’s office with the 2015 budget submission so the budget reflects directly the programs and services offered.

“This is a relatively new measure for Zayed University, which of course allows the government to monitor universities on an ongoing basis and execution of the operational plans.”

“As we move in this process, it is useful to note here the operational environment of Zayed University as a public institution and its effects on our operations. In this regard and while keeping the independence and governance by the Board, our regulations, policies, and procedures will need to be in essential conformity with the general federal regulations in several aspects including governance, finance, HR, IT, and others”, he concluded.

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