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New AUS students come from top 20 percent of high school class
Most of the 1,200 new students joining American University of Sharjah (AUS) this semester belong to the top 20 percent of their high school class, with their average high school scores as a group being about 92 percent. This was stated by AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath, at a special welcome session held for new students and their parents at the AUS Main Auditorium on Friday, September 9. The welcoming session was part of a one-weekorientation program.
In his opening remarks, the AUS Chancellor welcomed the audience on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of AUS. He gave the new students advice on what to expect during their coming years at AUS and urged them to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
Dr. Heath quoted a recent new student survey as stating that around 90 percent of the new students indicated that AUS was high on their lists of where they wanted to go to college. "For about 75 percent, this university was their first choice, for another 15 percent it was their second choice," he said.
He told the new students that they were now part of the 80 different nationalities that make up the AUS student body. He said that around 50 percent of the total AUS students are from Arab nations, 20 percent from the UAE, 13 percent from South Asia, 4 percent from Iran and 13 percent from elsewhere. "One of the great benefits of AUS is its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Here you will live with, study with and make friends with individuals from all over the world. The friendships you make here will last a lifetime," he said.
He mentioned some of the 21st century skills that AUS will help new students develop, "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," Dr. Heath added.
Echoing the Chancellor sentiments, Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, the AUS Provost, congratulated the new students for choosing AUS. "Let me congratulate you upon entering one of the finest and most diverse learning communities on the face of the earth. I wish for each one of you every success as you enter into the most exciting years of your life," he said. He also encouraged the new students to enrich their knowledge using the resources available at AUS to succeed in their careers after graduation. Dr. Hochstettler concluded by asking the new students to step forward and sign pledges of academic integrity, a final requirement for enrollment at AUS.
The welcome session was conducted by Mr. Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, who also congratulated the new students on their academic achievements at high school. He encouraged them to continue their distinction at the university. He gave students the general guidelines for the study at AUS and guided them through the full program of the orientation week which would include academic and non-academic orientations, placement tests, leisure activities and course registration. He also briefed the new students and their parents about the academic opportunities offered atthe university. The session also covered cultural and social life at AUS as acampus community and the students' individual development, both as members of aglobal society and as future professionals embarking on a career.
The new students and their families were addressed by Luis Abd Al-Rahman Garcia, President of the AUS Student Council, the executive authority of the student body. They were also introduced to the AUS Alumni Office by Musabah Abu Jarad, Vice President of the AUS Alumni Association. Present at the event were AUS vice chancellors as well as deans and other senior university officials.