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AUS academic programs are of the highest standard, says Chancellor at Orientation
American University of Sharjah (AUS) academic programs are of the highest standard, equivalent in quality to the programs run at good universities in the United States, stated AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath at a special session held to welcome almost 300 new students and their parents at the AUS Main Auditorium on January 25, 2013. The welcome session marks the launch of the orientation week which aims to give new students a comprehensive understanding of the university and to acclimatize them to life at AUS.
Dr. Heath congratulated the new students at the event, and welcomed them on behalf of the university's founder and president, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and spoke of how University City and AUS were established in 1997 as part of His Highness' overall development of Sharjah. "Fifteen years later, the university is ranked as one of the world's top 450 universities and stands as a testament to his foresight," said the Chancellor. "His Highness understood well the aspiration of young people and their parents, both within the UAE and across the Middle East, for the best university education that can be had at a level that is recognized and respected throughout the world. You are now being offered the chance to be a part of the continued success of your university."
"The most important thing that you can learn here is how to think clearly; how to analyze logically; how to communicate clearly; and how to be creative in finding solutions for the problems that you face. These are some of the 21st century skills that AUS will help you develop," said Dr. Heath. "We will give you all the skills of thinking and analysis and teamwork that you need to succeed. In turn, we expect you to behave as adults and take responsibility for yourself, both inside and outside the classroom. This is your opportunity to take advantage of all the university has to offer."
Also speaking at the session was Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, AUS Provost. "We at AUS are in a very real sense a family and your presence here today signals that you too are already becoming part of the growing kinship of AUS. I bid you welcome," said Dr. Hochstettler.
Addressing the parents, he added, "As a father myself, I fully realize how precious your children are to you, and we are deeply honored that you have selected American University of Sharjah as their academic home for the next several years. We take this honor and its attendant responsibilities very seriously. You are aware that we have carefully selected your child from among many well-qualified applicants because he or she possesses the intellectual and personal characteristics that are the foundation for success at AUS and for success in life. I commit to you now that we will do everything within our power to help your children succeed so that all of us can be proud of them while they are students here and equally proud of their accomplishments after they have graduated and throughout their lives."
Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, also welcomed the new students, their parents and guests to AUS. "As you may already know, AUS is very selective when offering admission to prospective applicants. This Spring, a limited number of students were selected and admitted to AUS. Being among those selected is an achievement you should be proud of," said Shuhaimy to the students. "One of our objectives in the Office of Enrollment Management is to ensure that new students experience a smooth and pleasant start of their university life at AUS. To achieve such objective, the university organizes various activities prior to the start of the semester for new students and their parents during the period from January 24 to 31, 2013. We encourage you and your parents to make every effort possible to take part in these events," he added.
The Vice President of the AUS Student Council, Waleed Hijazi, also addressed the freshmen, encouraging them to make the most of their time at the university. "AUS has a lot of opportunities for creativity in both academic and non-academic fields. In our university, there are great chances to express ourselves through practicing our hobbies or talents. We are able to develop our skills. Here, we have a lot of clubs and student organizations that vary between the cultural and non-cultural. We can work here, and do a lot of projects. Here, there are many opportunities that I advise you to benefit from," he said.
The welcome session gave new students an insight on the cultural and social life at AUS as a campus community. In an effort to emphasize the importance of academic integrity, new students were asked to sign the Academic Integrity Pledge which binds them to uphold the highest standards of honesty and to adhere to the rules of the university, thereby creating a culture of integrity.Also present at the welcome session were senior university officials.