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Sharjah Ruler affirms continuous growth of AUS as one of the best academic and research universities in the world
American University of Sharjah (AUS) will continue to grow and develop at both the academic and research levels to match the best American and international universities, said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of AUS, at the university's Spring 2017 graduation ceremony held today, May 25, at University City Hall, Sharjah. The ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
A total of 649 students graduated in various majors offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah congratulated the graduates and said, "Science and knowledge are the paths to achieve progress and prosperity in all aspects of life. Education is our weapon against the challenges that face us. It enhances the value of the individual. You, my graduates, are a model of the educated youth, qualified and equipped with science and knowledge. You are our true wealth and our future."
His Highness also shared with the audience the future plans of the university and said, "The university is now transitioning to a new and important stage in its development. AUS has prepared plans and adopted budgets to become a leading research university in the next five years, while continuing to develop and strengthen our undergraduate programs in all fields."
He also stressed on plans to develop synergies between academic research at AUS and commercial research in the RTI Park, which has been designed as a free zone to help transform Sharjah into a knowledge-based society and serve as an economic driver.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan affirmed AUS's international reputation in engineering, business, and architecture among other disciplines. He also highlighted the university's recognition by Times Higher Education as the most diverse international university the world in terms of student body.
In his opening remarks, AUS Chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve said, "Taking the environment of enquiry and critical thinking that marked the Golden Age of Islam as our inspiration, we are committed to transforming AUS into an outstanding center of research and innovation, focusing on research of regional relevance with global impact, which will help develop solutions to the challenges facing the region and the Gulf societies."
The Chancellor also spoke about developments in the AUS doctoral programs and said, "We are currently expecting to have the first two AUS PhD programs in engineering and business administration, accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the Ministry of Education's Higher Education Affairs Division, soon. Next academic year, we will start to develop four additional PhD programs in support of the four research areas as detailed in our strategic research plan."
"Graduates, as we move into this new phase, I encourage you to stay in touch with your alma mater and, as members of the AUS alumni family, support those students who will follow you at this university in the years to come. I congratulate you and your families on this special occasion and wish you the very best in your future endeavors," concluded Chancellor Kjerfve.
The breakdown of the graduates is as follows:
- Total number of graduating students: 649
- Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 535
- Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 114
- Number of male graduates: 272
- Number of female graduates: 377
- Total number of UAE nationals graduating: 95
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
- College of Architecture, Art and Design: 95 undergraduate and 15 graduate
- College of Arts and Sciences: 98 undergraduate and 12 graduate
- College of Engineering: 190 undergraduate and 57 graduate
- School of Business Administration: 152 undergraduate and 30 graduate
During the ceremony, the university also conferred the title of Professor Emeritus on Dr. Fawwaz Jumean, a pioneering AUS faculty member who led the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences (BCE) from 1998 until his retirement in 2015. The Emeritus title is the highest honorary designation at AUS for a faculty member who has served well and long, and has ceased employment with the university.
The student speaker at the ceremony, Hussam Badi Uz Zaman, said, "An education from AUS means that we won't settle for ordinary careers. Today, I address the leader within all of us. I want to highlight the importance of fulfilling our potential. There are three things we must strive to do. First, to build a vision inspired by our passion; second, to act on this vision, and third, to conquer all the fears that stand in the way of realizing this vision."
Badi Uz Zaman, who graduated as a finance major, also thanked His Highness, faculty members and parents for supporting the students in their academic journey.Maria Ossama Hanna and Catherine Geurgeus Masoud, graduating with a degree in electrical and chemical engineering respectively, were declared the recipients of the President's Cup for achieving the highest grade point average; while Merna Sameh Elmedany, an international studies major, received the Chancellor's Cup for exhibiting an outstanding combination of academic excellence, general character and service to university.
On behalf of the graduating Class of Spring 2017, Dr. Kjerfve presented the Sharjah Ruler with an artwork entitled "Conifer" by student Mohammad Abu Alhuda to commemorate the commencement.
Founded in 1997, AUS has fulfilled His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan's vision of a quality institution catering to the aspirations and needs of the UAE and the wider Gulf community as a whole. Over the past decade, the student body increased considerably, necessitating the launch of two graduation ceremonies per year.The ceremony was also attended by Rashid Ahmed bin Al Sheikh, Chairman of the Amiri Court; Abdullah Mohammad Al Owais, Chairman of the Cultural Department; Dr. Tariq Sultan bin Khadim, Chairman of the Human Resource Department; and a number of sheikhs, senior government and AUS officials.