Sharjah: The American University of Sharjah (AUS) is on the way to becoming a leading research university in the region, said His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
His comments came during the university’s Fall 2017 graduation ceremony held on Thursday, where a total of 602 students graduated in various majors offered by the university at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Shaikh Sultan said AUS is advancing to become a comprehensive research university while continuing its excellence in liberal arts programmes.
“This year coincided with the 20th anniversary celebrations of AUS. I am proud of its internationally recognised academic excellence. I feel that the efforts I made in setting up AUS have achieved the objectives of establishing a leading institution of high quality higher education in the region, on a par in the quality of its academic programmes with the top universities in the world,” said Shaikh Sultan as he congratulated the graduates.
Sharing the current plans of the university, he said AUS plans to launch two new doctoral programmes, one in engineering and the other in business administration.
“More doctoral programmes are in our five-year strategic plan. Our focus will be on interdisciplinary programmes focusing on medical technology, smart cities, artificial intelligence, the environment, and material sciences,” he said.
Shaikh Sultan also noted that AUS launched the GCC’s first Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering programme this Fall. “This dynamic, multidisciplinary programme is aimed at meeting an increasing demand for biomedical engineers in the health-care industry and in biomedical research.”
The ceremony was attended by Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and senior government and AUS officials.
Speaking on the occasion, AUS chancellor Dr Björn Kjerfve said the university intends to be at the forefront of research and innovation in science and technology and an incubator for ideas, solutions, and commercialisation.
“We intend to help Sharjah reap the benefits of our research and scholarship, to grow and be successful in achieving its goals, by focusing on regionally relevant research with a global impact,” he said.
He added that continuing to build a world-class institution requires shifting the focus from being primarily a teaching-centric university to becoming a comprehensive research university “offering PhD degrees, within five years, and without losing sight of our foundation and scholarship in the liberal arts”.