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Sharjah Ruler attends AUS Fall 2018 commencement
American University of Sharjah (AUS) is moving steadily towards its strategic vision in the coming four years to be globally recognized as the region’s leading university, renowned for outstanding teaching, learning, research and scholarship while fostering innovation that positively impacts society, said His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of AUS, at the university's Fall 2018 commencement ceremony held today, December 22, at University City Hall, Sharjah. The ceremony was also attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
A total of 599 students graduated in various majors offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
During his address, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah congratulated the graduates on their special day:
“It is my pleasure, dear graduating students, to share your happiness in celebrating your achievements that evoke pride and hope for a promising future, full of success and distinction.
Congratulations also to your parents, who worked hard to witness these precious moments, to see you reap the fruits of years of hard work in the pursuit of knowledge. Congratulations to you and your parents and we wish you continued success.”
Speaking about the university’s continued efforts to promote and develop research, His Highness said:
“We have provided all that is needed to attract world-class faculty, researchers and staff to expand our doctorate programs in various fields and to establish specialized research institutes and centers. We are also developing the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park to provide the companies and institutions in our region with opportunities to benefit from scientific research in the production, services, social and other sectors.”
Concluding his speech, Sheikh Dr. Sultan urged the new alumni to keep up their desire for education. He said:
“As you bid farewell to this phase of your life and prepare yourselves to embrace the future, I want to remind you of your responsibility to maintain the moral principles that distinguish your societies and respect hard and honest work. We believe that your academic journey with a distinguished institution such as AUS will allow you to set out confidently into the future. We also call on you to maintain all channels of communication with your university and your professors, your mentors and those who inspire you in life. You’re a precious asset for your university, and it is through you that the institution grows and progresses.”
In his opening remarks, AUS Chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve congratulated the graduates on their achievement. He also spoke about the university’s new strategic focus:
“Our new Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees this month and endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan, and will take effect as we move into our third decade as a university. The plan will support our undergraduate students, especially by enhancing academic mentoring, and will advance the approved five-year research agenda. We aim for world-class scholarship to propel AUS to the top of the region’s research universities, and a university of which you, our alumni, can feel proud.”
The Chancellor touched upon the university’s accreditation process and its current rank in global education. He also spoke of the university’s research agenda:
“We are investing $500 million, over five years, to carry out research, resulting in scholarship relevant to the challenges of this region, and with global impact. We have established four inter-disciplinary research institutes that will each offer a PhD program. In addition, we have created three research centers, where high-performance computing, geospatial analysis and genomics sequencing will provide support to the research institutes. We will focus on addressing critical global issues in health sciences, new materials, smart cities, and the effects of climate change on the environment.”
Dr. Kjerfve concluded by stating the new graduates are now ambassadors for AUS, joining some 15,000 alumni who will have passed through the doors of AUS, and encouraged them to stay connected to their alma mater.
The breakdown of the Class of Fall 2018 is as follows:
Total number of graduating students: 599
Number of undergraduate students receiving degrees: 534
Number of graduate students receiving degrees: 65
Number of male graduates: 303
Number of female graduates: 296
Total number of UAE nationals graduating: 108
A breakdown of the graduating class by college/school is as follows:
College of Architecture, Art and Design: 25 undergraduate and 2 graduate
College of Arts and Sciences: 78 undergraduate and 9 graduate
College of Engineering: 282 undergraduate and 41 graduate
School of Business Administration: 149 undergraduate and 13 graduate
Speaking on behalf of the graduating class, student speaker Natali Saleem, an industrial engineering major, shared the pride the students felt upon graduating from AUS. She said:
"We graduates are filled with the utmost joy and pride, knowing that we did not simply achieve one of our most important goals and the first step towards our success, but also that we are completing this milestone at this esteemed university, American University of Sharjah. This university has successfully instilled an indescribable emotion in its students and alumni. It has instilled a sense of belonging and a deep meaning of love. Ever since we first visited the AUS campus to apply for enrollment, a sense of admiration and excitement filled our hearts, and this same sense returns today. We admire our journey here at AUS and we are excited to see what the future brings, knowing that we are equipped with what it takes to make our journeys successful ones.”
She then thanked His Highness for the opportunities he provided them with:
“Your Highness, thank you for investing in our future in so many ways. Firstly, by believing in the power of education and establishing American University of Sharjah. Secondly, by believing in the power of the youth and supporting them through scholarships, awards and opportunities for progress. And, last but not least, for your endless initiatives that made AUS one of the most prestigious universities worldwide.”
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.