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Over 1,100 freshmen begin their studies at AUS
Approximately 1,200 bright freshmen students, whose average high school grades as a group is over 92 percent, will become part of the almost 80 nationalities-strong, multicultural student body at American University of Sharjah (AUS) this Fall semester. A special welcome session for these new students and their parents was held at the university Friday, September 17, as part of a week-long orientation program.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS, welcomed the new students and their parents to AUS 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. "It was his vision for improving higher education in the U.A.E. that led him to create this university, and it is his vision that we continue to implement and develop," he said.
Addressing the new students, he said that they were now part of the almost 80 different nationalities that made up the AUS student body. "Around 20 percent of you are Emirati nationals; another 50 percent come from different Arab countries; around 13 percent come from South Asia (India or Pakistan), around four percent from Iran, and around a final 13 percent stem from many, many other countries or regions, including Europe, North America, and Africa," he said. "One of the great benefits of AUS it 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 you a lifetime," he added.
He urged the students to make the most of their time at AUS and focus on subjects that interested them the most. "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," said Dr. Heath. "You will best succeed in doing this if you follow the course of study that fascinates you the most. So take time to explore different possibilities here at AUS and then choose the major that your heart and not just your head tell you to follow. You will do best by studying what interests you. If you are successful in these studies, be assured that you will get the job you want," he noted.
During the session, new students and parents were also briefed about academic opportunities offered at the university. The session also covered social and cultural life at AUS as well as students' personal growth prospects.
Dr. Thomas J. Hochstettler, AUS Provost, also welcomed the new students to the university and congratulated them on "entering one of the finest and most diverse learning communities on the face of the earth." He informed the incoming students of the many opportunities available to them during their time at AUS and to explore areas outside their discipline. "Here at AUS, we believe deeply that a well-educated person must have a sophisticated understanding of many different ways of knowing, and we have built into the requirements for every undergraduate degree a series of elective courses, the General Education requirement, that will ensure that your education will be both broad as well as deep," he said. "We believe that an educated person in our age must have an understanding of quantitative means of reasoning, of the natural sciences, of the humanities, and of the social sciences," he added.
Mr. Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the new students on their academic achievements in their respective secondary education systems. He urged the students to continue to work hard during their time at AUS and wished them success. Vice Chancellor Shuhaimy also informed the audience of that the coming orientation coming orientation week will include academic and non-academic activities, placement tests, leisure activities, and registering for classes as well as general presentations on the university's academic rules and regulations, campus tours, special student receptions, movies and trips to Sharjah and Dubai.
The new students and their families were introduced to the AUS Office of Development & Alumni Affairs and addressed by Eisa Al Issa, President of the AUS Alumni Association, as well as by Yousef Bader Al Jabri, President of the AUS Student Council.
Also present at the event were Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Mr. George DeBin, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; as well as deans and other senior university officials.