United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) was founded in 1976 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a higher education beacon for the UAE, providing the youth with higher education opportunities. It was the first university to be established in the country and the only university established by the founding father.
Since its inception, UAEU has evolved into a comprehensive university with greater emphasis on research, offering a full range of internationally accredited, high-quality graduate and undergraduate programs through its nine colleges in almost all major disciplines. As a research-intensive university, UAEU works with its partners to provide research solutions to challenges facing the nation and the region.
Nine research centers of strategic importance to the country and the region are advancing knowledge in critical areas. The nine centers are: National Water Center; Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Center for Health Sciences; Roadway, Transportation and Traffic Safety Research Center; Emirates University Center for Public Policy and Leadership; Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology; Emirates Center for Energy and Environmental Research; National Space Science and Technology Center; Emirates Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment; and Emirates Center for Happiness Research.
In addition, the Science and Innovation Park, through its business incubators, serves as a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership to foster the transitioning of the UAE economy toward a knowledge economy.
The university has established student exchange programs and collaborations with Akita University, The University of Tokyo, Hokkaido University, Fujita Health University and Waseda University.
The Sakura Club, established in 2009, was the first cultural club formed in UAEU by a group of female students with an interest in Japanese culture. The main aim of the club is to encourage cultural exchanges between the UAE and Japan. The club also regularly organizes cultural activities such as the UAE-Japan Week, holds conferences with Japanese universities, participates in an exchange program with Fujimigaoka High School and arranges trips to Japan to enhance cultural knowledge and immersion.
The university aspires to be the “university of the future” with goals to become a top-20 academic institution in Asia and a top-200 academic institution globally.
With education increasingly growing as a vital pillar for the Middle East, UAEU aims to become the national hub in research and entrepreneurship, as well as the primary destination for collaboration with governmental and nongovernmental agencies, organizations, industry and international agencies.
By 2020, university students will participate in new types of learning experiences, access new kinds of learning resources and deal with a broader range of knowledge providers than ever before. As such, new technologies are expected to flourish in the future, including 3D printing, the “internet of things,” artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and gamification — areas in which the UAE will be at the forefront of.
“While we will strive to produce indigenous leaders of the highest caliber in different areas, we also aim to attract international scholars to create a vibrant and interactive learning environment that advances the region technologically; strengthens its heritage, culture and tradition; and benefits humanity. We have attained top rankings over the years and we intend to keep it that way, while improving as we go along. Our aim is to be known as a world-class university, providing only the best education to students,” said Professor Mohamed Albaili, vice chancellor of UAEU.
“Not knowing precisely every detail of the change coming, the only insurance we have is simply the nimbleness and agility to move, shift and find our course. The future does not wait — it is constantly at our doorstep and we must ensure to take action today to be prepared accordingly for tomorrow. We are on the right track, but many changes will have to take place for us to continue following that path and ensure continued success in the near future. The future is what the UAE, as a country, looks to and what we, at the UAEU, have ambitious plans for.”