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More than 1,200 new students enroll at AUS for Fall 2016 semester
More than 1,200 freshmen and their parents were welcomed to an orientation session held at American University of Sharjah (AUS) Friday night, August 19, 2016. The event was aimed at giving new students a comprehensive understanding of the university and to acclimate them to life at AUS. The new students, who come from the top 20 percent of their high school graduating class, will begin their undergraduate academic journey when classes commence on August 28 for the Fall semester.
In his opening remarks made during the session that marked the start of the university's Orientation Week, AUS Chancellor, Dr. Björn Kjerfve stated that students joining the university will experience a challenging and stimulating academic experience in a supportive campus environment. He welcomed the parents and new students on behalf of the university's founder and president, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhamad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
"I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new freshman class of 1,250 young men and women who are joining us this semester. You are among a select group, embarking on an exciting academic journey that will culminate with your graduation, and you becoming our new alumni, equipped with the knowledge and skills that will bring you success in the workplace and make you productive members of society," said Chancellor Kjerfve.
He 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 faculty members 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.
Dr. Kjerfve also assured parents that the university will take the responsibility of their children's education seriously.
The incoming freshmen cohort for the semester comprises 1,250 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 32 international exchange students from countries as diverse as Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Japan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sweden, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States among others will also be joining the university. AUS is known throughout the region for its multicultural campus environment, with more than 99 nationalities comprising its student body.
AUS Interim Provost, Kevin Mitchell congratulated the freshmen for joining AUS, and said, "You have been selected from a group of highly qualified applicants and the university is confident in your potential for success. I use the word potential intentionally, because you must now demonstrate your ability to succeed in an environment that may differ in significant ways from your previous experience."
"AUS is an institution that is enriched by its diversity of tolerance, whether expressed in the way that we treat each other on the sports field or when we express divergent viewpoints in classroom discussions. In a world where disagreements can be amplified in ways that affect the lives of many, AUS has a responsibility to lead by example and to demonstrate the value of co-existence and mutual respect over confrontation and conflict," he added.
He also encouraged students to familiarize themselves with the university catalog, as it will play a key role in their degree. "The general education program is described in detail on the AUS website and in the Catalog. 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, "We appreciate the confidence you have shown in our university by choosing to enroll your daughter or son at AUS. I want to assure you that you have made the right choice. AUS is not just another university. We are an institution that prides itself in being recognized as a leading university in the region."
"Our commitment to the success of our students is evidenced by their achieved stature in the community. Our graduates enjoy the advantage of being in the forefront of employers' selection. Moreover, their demonstrated competencies at the work place, resonates well with the remarkable ranking position AUS achieved in a short period of time," 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.
The welcome session is 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, awareness sessions for parents and students, a dinner reception and a library tour.