The Business Year

Dr. Nabil Ibrahim

Chancellor, Abu Dhabi University

Our academic programs have grown from seven to 38, some of which are at the Bachelor’s level, some at the Master’s level, and one at the Doctoral level. When we started in 2003, the university had merely 900 students. Today, the number is close to 5,200, and is growing rapidly, both in terms of student body and quality. Our strategy for the faculty has been to attract international talent with expertise that is recognized worldwide. In 2010, the university won the prestigious Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA), marking the very first time it was awarded to a university. We have over 40 local and international partners that enrich our academic mission and support our strategic goals. Locally, we partner with public and private organizations, such as Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency, Tawazun, Etihad, and ADDED. Internationally, we partner with institutions such as University of Illinois, Purdue University, Tulane University, Norwegian Air Research Institute, Singapore National University, and Seoul National University.

Dr. Jay Noren

Provost, Khalifa University

Our precursor, Etisalat, was mostly geared toward telecommunications and training undergraduates for the future. What we have today, and we are currently planning a significant expansion, is a broad-based engineering college that covers all fields: biomedical, electrical, computers, aerospace, nuclear, and telecommunications. We now also have PhD programs in all of these fields. Etisalat continues to contribute significantly to the Khalifa University Sharjah Campus, especially in telecommunications and electrical and computer engineering. Khalifa University was created by a decree to become the UAE’s principal research university in engineering and biomedical sciences, as well as moving into natural and physical sciences. We enjoy a strong relationship with Georgia Tech, Texas A&M University, Bristol, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Dr. Ahmed Ghonim

Acting President, Dr. Ahmed Ghonim

We were the first college in Abu Dhabi to offer a Diploma in Computer Science back in 1985. We were also the first private college in the country to earn accreditation for our associate degree programs from the Ministry of Education. We have been offering Bachelor’s degrees in business administration, management, HR, marketing, finance, and IT since 2010. Our vision today is to emphasize applied learning and applied scientific research. We are a practical college, and we need to build our graduates to be able to join the industrial field. Our image in the market is that we are your practical choice. The government supports public education, and it tries to do its best with the universities. In the private sector, there are some difficulties according to financial issues, but the Ministry does not differentiate between private/public in applying standards. It is now concentrating on research, and it wants to bring more expertise from outside to the UAE to build a knowledge-based economy in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Tayeb A. Kamali

Vice Chancellor, HCT

We work very closely to provide the maximum benefit to the country as far as our programs are concerned from an educational standpoint. We are very proud of what we are doing here at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). It is unique in its standing that it also has a very independent Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT). Our aim is to make sure the university has a think tank, commercial arm, and research bank functioning side by side. For the 2013/2014 academic year, we welcomed over 6,000 new students, an increase of about 35%, which indicates that we are providing Emirati students with the right options. Our graduates are highly sought after, largely because of our learning style. There is room for more universities to come to Abu Dhabi — particularly in specific specializations that are much needed in the economy. People are coming to study in the UAE from countries such as India, on the strength of our universities.

Dr. Alaa Garad

CEO, Emirates College of Technology (ECT)

The beauty of working in this part of the world is that you feel directly connected to a strategic vision. Everyone in Abu Dhabi is on a mission; they want to achieve something. In 2012, we revisited the vision of the College and decided to benchmark it nationally, regionally, and also in the UAE, as well as link it to the national Vision itself. We want to become one of the leading private universities in the UAE. My academic approach acknowledges that real learning is something that you can put into action. Our strategy is service differentiation. We have around 70% UAE nationals and 30% expatriates. Out of the 70%, I would say that about 60% are male students and 40% female. On top of this, we organize an international conference, the Organization Learning Conference, for the MENA region, where we host guest speakers from over 20 countries. This reach establishes a platform for the market, clients, and the broader community.

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