Zayed University

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Zayed University
Zayed University (logo).png
Established 1998
President Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi
Provost Dr. Abdalla Al Amiri
Location Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Website www.zu.ac.ae

Zayed University, established in 1998, is the newest of the three government-sponsored higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates. It is named in honor of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country's founder and first president. Maitha Al Shamsi was instated as president in 2013.[1] HE Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi was appointed President on March 4, 2014.

Zayed University does not feature in any world rankings.[2][3][4]

Accreditation[edit]

In 2008, Zayed University announced that it had received accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[5]

Zayed University announced it had received re-accreditation in 2013.[6]

Outcomes-based academic program model[edit]

Zayed University has adopted an outcomes-based academic program model. The undergraduate programs are outcomes-based and designed with reference to the Zayed University Learning Outcomes. These were designed by hired U.S. consultants as a means of developing the necessary outcomes to prepare students for the world.[7]

The major outcomes-based programs are housed the six academic outcomes-based colleges. Outcomes-based majors are based on Zayed University's learning outcomes; they are discipline specific.[8]

Campus[edit]

The university's main campus in Abu Dhabi moved to a new campus in Khalifa City in 2011.[9] Its Dubai campus moved from its original location near the international airport to its current Al Ruwayyah location, near Academic City, in 2006.

Controversies[edit]

Management concerns[edit]

In December 2010, the Federal National Council queried the competency of the university's senior management. According to The National, Zayed University was reported to owe over Dh33 million in unpaid water and electricity bills.[10]

According to The National, three men held the position of provost between April and June 2011, seven since 1998.[11]

In 2012, questions were raised about the effectiveness of its teacher education program. According to The National, none of the 110 teachers it produced between 2010 and 2012 were employed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC); ADEC claimed Zayed University produces graduates with poor skills and lazy attitudes.[12]

In 2013, the founding president of Zayed University, Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, was dismissed. The surprise announcement, that Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan would move to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, was made on Twitter by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Most members of the university's senior administration were also dismissed in 2013, including vice president Sulaiman Al Jassim and provost Larry Wilson. As well as existing concerns over academic integrity, transparent governance, and endemic plagiarism at Zayed University, concerns have been raised about the weak academic credentials and lack of international experience among the new management.[13]

In 2013, president Maitha Al Shamsi announced Zayed University would be completely restructured. Though Al Shamsi did not explain what kind of restructuring she would implement, she said Zayed University would now be based on the UAE government's Charter for National Values and Ethics and would entail a total revision of all "academic programmes and management polices."[14]

In March, 2014, HE Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi was appointed as President of Zayed University.

Salary controversies[edit]

In August 2008, Emirati staff received a 28% pay award, whereas foreign faculty received a 5% pay award. The university would not comment on the case.[15]

In May 2010, a salary freeze was imposed at the university.[16]

In January 2011, The National reported that Zayed University staff would receive a 2% pay raise retroactive to August 2010, which reportedly would be their first pay raise in three and a half years. The provost later acknowledged that "salaries have not kept pace with inflation."[17]

Student concerns[edit]

On 16 September 2013, The National (Abu Dhabi)The National reported a series of complaints by students at Zayed University against policy changes introduced by the new president, Maitha Al Shamsi. These changes include sending SMS messages to parents when students arrive or leave campus, increasing faculty teaching loads, and preventing students from changing their class schedules.[18] Provost Abdalla Al Amiri angrily rebuffed the article the following day, explaining that the SMS system is optional, no faculty teach 15 credit hours per semester, and that student schedules can be changed in University College.[19]

Creating further confusion, on 18 September 2013, the Gulf News reported that Zayed University would be completely restructured.[20]

Lack of academic freedom[edit]

In 2012, an American journalism professor working in the College of Communication and Media Sciences was dismissed from his job at the Abu Dhabi campus.[21] The professor, Dr. Matt J. Duffy, expressed concern that his activities—which included writing for Gulf News, launching a student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and teaching objectively about the UAE's media laws—may have led to his dismissal.[22] Duffy's dismissal breached policies on academic freedom laid out by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which state, "To impose political considerations upon faculty selection and retention harms an institution intellectually and educationally, not only by reducing its options in the recruitment of talent, but also by creating pressures against dissent on important policy issues."[23] Despite claiming to follow Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its MSCHE Self-Study ("Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"), the university would not comment on the case in public.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Longtime Emirati Education Minister Moves Aside". Al Fanar. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "World University Rankings, 2012-2013". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Top 400 Universities in the World". U.S. News. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "QS World Rankings of Universities". Shanghai Rankings. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. accreditors expand their activities overseas". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Zayed University achieves international accreditation accessdate=30 June 2013". 
  7. ^ "Zayed University Learning Outcomes in Colloquy Program". Zayed University. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Zayed University Learning Outcomes in Zayed University Catalog". Zayed University. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Teething problems at new Dh3.7bn Zayed University campus". The National. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Shaheen, Kareem (21 December 2010). "Debt worry over federal universities". The National. 
  11. ^ "Zayed University provost back at helm amid confusion". The National. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Swan, Melanie (18 April 2012). "Zayed University seeks dean to lead it into the future". The National. 
  13. ^ "UAE higher education power shifts". Al-Fanar.org. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Shahbandari, Shafaat (17 September 2013). "Major restructuring of ZU on cards". Gulf News. 
  15. ^ Bardsley, Daniel (18 August 2008). "Meagre pay rise angers academics". The National. 
  16. ^ Pay Frozen and Job Losses Loom, The National, 13 May 2010
  17. ^ "Zayed University staff to get 2 per cent pay increase". The National. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Rule changes spark mixed reactions at Zayed University". The National. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Zayed University’s vision will remain ‘firm and untouched’". The National. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Major restructuring of ZU on cards". Gulf News. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Two Years in Abu Dhabi: Adventures teaching journalism in the UAE during the Arab Spring". Arab Media & Society. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "American Professor Suddenly Fired from Zayed University". Insider Higher Ed. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "Political Intervention in Education". MSCHE. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  24. ^ "Why was I fired from Zayed U.?". The Chronicle for Higher Education. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  25. ^ "Lecturer's Arrest in the Emirates Stirs Debate Over Academic Freedom in the Middle East". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°06′07″N 55°23′08″E / 25.102019°N 55.385599°E / 25.102019; 55.385599