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AUS welcomes new students for Fall 2015 semester
Students joining American University of Sharjah (AUS) should be prepared to enter a challenging and stimulating academic environment that will help them become productive members of society, stated the AUS Chancellor, Dr. Björn Kjerfve, at a welcome session held for new students and their parents at the AUS Main Auditorium today, Friday, August 28, 2015. Dr. Kjerfve welcomed the parents and new students 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. The session marked the start of the university's Orientation Week.
"You are among a select group, embarking on an exciting and challenging academic journey that will culminate with you emerging as graduates, becoming our new alumni equipped with skill sets that will bring you success in the workplace and make you productive members of society," said the Chancellor in his opening remarks.
He also expressed his appreciation of the hard work the freshmen had put in to join the university, stating that they are among the top percentile of their high school graduating class. The chancellor urged the students to take advantage of the facilities available at AUS and to seek help from the professors and departments whenever needed. He encouraged students to explore and sample the many academic choices AUS provided and for them to challenge themselves academically by participating in the many student activities available beyond the classroom.
"We are committed to providing an enriching campus environment where your sons and daughters can receive the best overall education," said Dr. Kjerfve, assuring parents that the university took the responsibility of their children's education seriously.
The incoming freshmen cohort for the semester comprises approximately 1,300 bright and talented young men and women ready to begin their university life. As part of its mandate, the university is set to offer them a challenging and stimulating academic environment along with increased financial assistance and support in the form of grants and scholarships to help them through their academic journey. This year more than 40 international exchange students from countries as diverse as Japan, Brazil, the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Finland among others will also be joining the university. AUS is known throughout the region for its multicultural campus environment, with more than 90 nationalities comprising its student body.
AUS Interim Provost, Kevin Mitchell added to the Chancellor's sentiments by assuring parents who had entrusted the education of their children to the university, saying, "My colleagues and I take this trust very seriously and we are committed to providing a rigorous and rewarding educational and extracurricular experience that makes AUS a leader in higher education in the region."
"At AUS, we are not content with describing the world around us but seek to develop an analytical understanding of the subjects we are studying through critical questions," said Provost Mitchell addressing the students. "Perhaps in high school the responses to your questions may have come in the form of answers; you may find that professors at AUS answer your questions with another question for you. Opening up more questions is not intended to frustrate you, but rather to enter into a dialogue in order to advance our knowledge and understanding as part of the academic community that you are joining," he added.
He also encouraged students to familiarize themselves with the university catalog as it will play a key role in their degree. "The catalog is your guide to academic policies and degree requirements. The catalog and the Student Handbook are very important and I urge you to read them carefully. Both documents will be discussed during orientation week and it is therefore essential to attend all sessions," he said.
Executive Director for Enrollment Management, Ali Shuhaimy also welcomed new students and their parents and congratulated the students on beginning the next phase of their academic career. He said that the welcome session represented the official launch of the orientation and informational week for the new students. "Our aim is to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of AUS and how it operates," Shuhaimy stated. "As part of our efforts to introduce you to AUS, we have scheduled many informational, academic and recreational activities throughout the week. We hope you will find the planned activities rich, fruitful and entertaining," he added.
The gathering was also addressed by the president of the AUS Student Council who welcomed the freshmen to the university and urged them to make the most of their time at AUS.
A freshman present on the occasion said, "AUS has always been my number one choice for its academic excellence and its diversity. I'm excited to be part of its community and to work hard in order to meet the university's expectations."
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 and 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.