In preparation for the upcoming academic year 2015 -2016, the Abu Dhabi University has completed a Dh28 million comprehensive development and modernisation plan of all science labs, classrooms, lecture halls and educational facilities on both its campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
The plan comprises the establishment of centres of excellence specialised in scientific research that targets sustainability, entrepreneurship and smart cities, as well as upgrading computer systems and software, on campus communication systems, office and classroom furniture, cafeteria and student lounge areas. In addition to the modernisation of the University's transportation services, increasing references and print and electronic titles in the University's library, as well as maintenance and upgrades to on campus dorms.
Ali Saeed bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi University's Executive Board, explained that the plan is part of ADU's strategy for academic excellence and strengthening its stature locally, regionally and internationally to further its pursuit of international academic accreditation as an educational institution that provides a stimulating environment that nurtures creativity and innovation. "The focus of the University's strategy is innovation, which translates the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for naming 2015 as ‘The Year of Innovation'. Hence, ADU has started developing a plan to integrate innovation into curriculum courses, which will bring the culture of creativity and leadership among students, and encourage inventive thinking and eventually contribute to the UAE's transition to a knowledge-based economy," he said.
The University is also preparing to organise several conferences that will attract experts presenting research papers in mathematics and its applications, innovative practices in education, as well as sustainable management.
Bin Harmal, added, "The development and modernisation projects on both Abu Dhabi University campuses translate the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of Abu Dhabi University's Board of Regents, and his keenness to transform ADU into an international hub of higher education and research.
"We've attracted 60 new faculty and staff members from prestigious universities and research centres all around the world including Canada, Greece, Australia and the USA, who will join ADU throughout the 2015- 2016 academic year. Their international experience will help enrich our current academic offerings as well as further drive the University's research outputs to meet the policy agenda of Abu Dhabi's Government and its Economic Vision 2030. Construction works of Dh 35 Million have also started on an area of 9,202 m2 to develop new residential facilities to accommodate this enhancement in our faculty cadre."
The 2015 -2016 academic year will also witness a surge in Abu Dhabi University's research agenda through dedicated centres of excellence that will encourage faculty and enhance their potential to publish their research in specialised scientific journals registered in SCOPUS and other world-renowned databases. ADU's Scholarship and Financial Aid Fund will benefit from an increase, thereby allowing more students access to world-class education, which corresponds with the dedication of Dh 16,604,146 to scholarships and financial during the 2014- 2015 academic year which benefited 2,422 students representing 45% of the number of students studying at the University during that year.
Bin Harmal stressed that perhaps the most important achievement of this young University is receiving candidacy status for 5 years from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). "This particular achievement doubled the University's keenness in investing additional resources and effort that assures parents and students enrolled in any of its programs of ADU's internationally benchmarked educational environment," he concluded.