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AUS welcomes 250 new students for Spring 2014 semester
Students must invest themselves, their time and effort in acquiring knowledge during their undergraduate pursuit as the journey to personal and professional success begins at university, said Acting Chancellor Dr. Thomas Hochstettler to approximately 250 new students and their parents during the bi-annual Orientation Week's Welcome Session at the Main Building's Auditorium on Friday, January 24, 2014.
During his address, he welcomed new students and their parents 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. He also urged them to benefit from the university's resources by thinking beyond the parameters of the proverbial box and seeking help from their professors and departments whenever needed.
"I encourage you to begin now to challenge yourself to become an adventuresome student, to let your creativity loose, to try out new ways of thinking, to take classes in fields that are not familiar to you for the sheer joy of exploring a new intellectual tradition," he said.
Dr. Hochstettler also said that the education students will be receiving at AUS comes in three types. First, students need to be thinking about learning the practical skills associated with their discipline. Second, he talked about liberal learning, where students will acquire the ability to think creatively "to adapt to and accommodate the inevitable changes" that they will confront in their professional and personal life. He concluded by telling the students that the "third way of learning has to do with you as a human being and learning to become an ethical and value-centered adult who will be a credit to yourself, to your family, and to the university, both now and for the rest of your life." While Dr. Hochstettler focused on introducing students to the different learning processes they will adapt to, Acting Provost Dr. Malcolm Richards stressed the importance of academic integrity and the need to be vigilant during orientation, as it will benefit students in the long run.
He added that he hoped students would take advantage of the opportunities they are given during orientation. "One of the most important resources for you during this period of orientation and indeed throughout your time at AUS will be the people you encounter. I encourage you to begin to build your network of contacts-these are resource people who might one day be able to assist you," he remarked.
Dr. Richards also urged students to familiarize themselves with the university catalog as it will play a key role in their degree. "There will be information sessions during this orientation period that will introduce you to the catalog, and I urge you to learn about the resources that are available to you; what is expected of you; the faculty who will be your instructors; courses you will be expected to complete; and what it takes to earn a degree from AUS," he said.
AUS Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Ali Shuhaimy also welcomed new students and their parents. Joining the AUS community is no little achievement, noted Shuhaimy in his speech, as he congratulated freshmen and their parents on making the right choice, ensuring them that the university is keen on maintaining its standards of excellence. "AUS is not just another university; we are an institution that prides itself in being recognized as a leading university in the region," he said. "Our commitment to the success of our students is evidenced by their achieved stature in community."
Lujain Kamal, a freshman engineering student who voiced her enthusiasm about joining AUS, said, "What caught my attention about AUS, other than it being one of the best universities in the UAE, is its multicultural environment. I would like to get my higher education in a university with a strong American curriculum. In addition, having a degree from AUS could increase my employment chances after graduation."
Lujain's mother also expressed her contentment with her daughter's enrollment at AUS and said, "We chose this university because of its advanced level in education since His Highness Sheikh Sultan himself looks after this university. We also have a good feeling about it because of its excellent faculty, and we hope her education here would help her get a job after she graduates."
The welcome session will be followed by a weeklong schedule of events that aim to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the university, from logistics to procedures, which will help them for years to come. It includes on- and off-campus festivities, such as city tours around Sharjah and Dubai, open house games at the Student Center, awareness sessions for parents and students, a dinner reception, and a library tour where participants can win a mini iPad.