Executive Committee Comprises Members from UAEU, Zayed University, Khalifa University, Masdar Institute and AUS
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 11 January, 2012 – The University Leadership Council (ULC) was launched in the UAE today under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The new organization will provide a platform for thought leadership and offer actionable recommendations to deepen collaboration and advance regionally relevant research and innovation.
The Executive Committee of the University Leadership Council consists of representatives from five leading UAE universities. They include Dr. Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University, Dr. Larry Wilson, Provost of Zayed University (ZU), Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (AUS), Dr. Rory Hume, Provost of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies.
The five leading universities who are members of the University Leadership Council, in collaboration with the nation’s top academic institutions, will generate creative ideas and foster common interests for spearheading innovation and technology transfer in the region under the new organization.
More UAE-based universities are expected to become members of the University Leadership Council (ULC). A logo of the new Council was later unveiled.
To fulfill the prime responsibility towards the community, the academic leaders will drive the onset of new concepts especially through research and sow the seeds of profound change in the mindsets of students and build a foundation for the advent of scientific advancements under the new initiative. By coming together and initiate collaborative efforts, the academic leaders will help advance the nation’s socio-economic development and expand the knowledge base within the UAE and indeed the region more broadly.
The Council has a clear mandate to interface with industry and government to bring about a clearer understanding of the goals and mission of research-based universities and to work collaboratively towards common goals such as promoting a culture of research and innovation (R&I), advancing the educational goals of the UAE-based universities and alignment of policy with the government with regard to meeting the requirements of the industry and the economy.
The University Leadership Council will focus on higher education issues and needs, foster synergy through complementary and cooperative research and academic activities, as well as act as a link for faculty and students to interface with both the public and private sectors. It will also seek financial support from industry, government, and private individuals for relevant academic and research activities within member institutions. Ultimately, the ULC serves to promote the overall economic development of the country by broadening the base of knowledge and sharing technology across multiple stakeholders.
As a part of this strategy, the Executive Committee has scheduled an upcoming workshop titled ‘Government, Industry and Academic Partnership to Promote Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi’. It will aim to gather influential members from the government, industry and academia.
Dr. Tod Laursen said: “Khalifa University is an academic institution with a very clear mission to establish an internationally recognized center of higher education and provide regionally relevant research and innovation. We are pleased to support this initiative and collaborate with other research-driven institutions in the UAE. The Council’s mandate aligns very well with our mission to expand the knowledge economy and with our collective desire to highlight the critical role that UAE-based institutions have in making this economic transformation a reality.”
Dr. Larry Wilson said: “Zayed University aims to prepare today’s students to be capable leaders of tomorrow to provide the knowledge and skillsets required to secure the country’s long-term social and economic progress. We will support any collaboration effort that supports human development and we believe the establishment University Leadership Council is a step in the right direction that will ensure the country’s continued development.”
Dr. Peter Heath said: “Rooted in Arab culture, the American University of Sharjah is part of a larger concept of revitalizing intellectual life in the Middle East. We believe the University Leadership Council will play a crucial role once again in bringing the Arab world back to its pioneering status in education and knowledge and we are ready to contribute to this key initiative in the UAE.”
Dr. Rory Hume said: “As a world-class center for applied research, national and international outreach, innovation and outcome-based learning, the United Arab Emirates University strongly believes in collaborative efforts on knowledge sharing. The University Leadership Council aims to focus on research and innovation through collective measures that will help develop human capital and we are keen to extend our cooperation to the new organization to achieve its objectives.”
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh said: “With the influx of newly established graduate research-based universities, the formation of a University Leadership Council has become vitally important. Education holds the key to social and economic progress and it is the responsibility of the academic institutions in the UAE to effectively inform and educate its graduates so that they become the leaders of tomorrow and transform the UAE into a knowledge-based economy.”