|President||Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi|
|Provost||Dr. Abdalla Al Amiri|
|Location||Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
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. HE Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi was appointed President on March 4, 2014.
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.
Zayed University announced it had received re-accreditation in 2013.
Outcomes-based academic program model
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.
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.
The university's main campus in Abu Dhabi moved to a new campus in Khalifa City in 2011. Its Dubai campus moved from its original location near the international airport to its current Al Ruwayyah location, near Academic City, in 2006.
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.
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.
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.
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."
In May 2010, a salary freeze was imposed at the university.
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."
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. 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.
Creating further confusion, on 18 September 2013, the Gulf News reported that Zayed University would be completely restructured.
Lack of academic freedom
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. 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. 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." 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.
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- University website
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Zayed University Wiki: The ZU Encyclopedia