Zayed University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zayed University
Zayed University (logo).png
Established 1998; 17 years ago (1998)
President Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
Vice-president Reyadh Almehaideb
Location Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Zayed University, "جامعة زايد" is the newest of the three government-sponsored higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates. Achieving accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the USA it became the first federal university in the UAE to be internationally accredited.[1] It is named in honor of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country's first president. The University has six colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Sciences, College of communication and Media Sciences, College of Education, College of Information Technology, and University College.[2]


Zayed University was established in 1998 by the federal government of the United Arab Emirates. Until 2008 Zayed University was accepting only UAE national women, but then after the opening of Sweihan campus which is a collaboration between Zayed University and the UAE Armed Forces approximately 200 male students were admitted.[3]

Zayed University is currently engaged in cooperative relationships with a number of institutions throughout the world such as: Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Scotland, Australian National University, School of Business Management and Organization of the Foundation Antonio Genovesi Salerno in Italy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and Waseda University in Japan.[4]

In November 2014, Zayed University was ranked 23rd out of 25 in the QS World University Arab Rankings.[5] It does not feature in any world rankings.[6][7][8]


In 2008, Zayed University announced that it received accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[9] Zayed University announced it had received re-accreditation in 2013.[10] The University is one of only 16 overseas institutions accredited by the MSCHE, and one of only 4 in the Middle East.[11]

Programs within its College of Technological Innovation obtained accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the summer of 2012.[12]

Programs within its College of Business obtained accreditation through the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) accreditation in June 2013.[13]

Through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation Continuous Improvement Commission (CAEP),[14] in 2013 the College of Education received accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Zayed University College of Education is the first university, outside of the USA, to be internationally accredited.

Programs within its College of Communication and Media Sciences obtained accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) in May 2015.[15]

Outcomes-based academic program model[edit]

Zayed University has adopted an outcomes-based academic program model. The 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.[16]

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, yet outcomes based![17]


The university's campus in Abu Dhabi moved to a new campus in Khalifa City in 2011.[18] Its Dubai campus moved to its current Al Ruwayyah location, near Academic City, in 2006.


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.[19]

According to The National, three men held the position of provost between April and June 2011, seven since 1998.[20]

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.[21]

In early 2013, the founding president of Zayed University, Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, was dismissed as the U.A.E.'s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. 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 Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Nahyan was subsequently displaced as president of Zayed University. Most members of the university's senior administration were also dismissed in 2013, including vice president Sulaiman Al Jassim and provost Larry Wilson. Maitha Al Shamsi was then instated as president in 2013.[22] She was soon followed by Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi, who was appointed President.[23]

As well as existing concerns over academic integrity, transparency, and plagiarism at Zayed University, concerns have been raised about the weak academic credentials and lack of international experience among the new management.[24]

In 2013, then-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 U.A.E. government's Charter for National Values and Ethics and would undertake a total revision of all "academic programmes and management polices."[25]

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.[26]

In May 2010, a salary freeze was imposed at the university.[27]

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."[28]

Student concerns[edit]

On 16 September 2013, The National reported a torrent 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.[29] Then-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.[30]

Creating further confusion, on 18 September 2013, the Gulf News reported that Zayed University would be completely restructured.[31]

Lack of academic freedom[edit]

In 2012, an American journalism professor working in the College of Communication and Media Sciences was dismissed from the Abu Dhabi campus.[32] The professor, 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 U.A.E.'s media laws—-may have led to his dismissal.[33] 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."[34] 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.[35]


  1. ^ "Zayed University achieves international accreditation". 
  2. ^ "Colleges at Zayed University". 
  3. ^ "History of Zayed University". 
  4. ^ "Cooperation with Other Institutions". 
  5. ^ "UAE universities top regional charts", Khaleej Times, 18 November 2014.
  6. ^ "World University Rankings, 2012-2013". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Top 400 Universities in the World". U.S. News. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "QS World Rankings of Universities". Shanghai Rankings. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "U.S. accreditors expand their activities overseas". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Zayed University achieves international accreditation". Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Msche. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Search - ABET". Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "AACSB List of Member Schools by Country". AACSB. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "ACEJMC Homepage". Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Zayed University Learning Outcomes in Colloquy Program". Zayed University. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Zayed University Learning Outcomes in Zayed University Catalog" (PDF). Zayed University. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Teething problems at new Dh3.7bn Zayed University campus". The National. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  19. ^ Kareem Shaheen (21 December 2010). "Debt worry over federal universities". The National. 
  20. ^ "Zayed University provost back at helm amid confusion". The National. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  21. ^ Melanie Swan (18 April 2012). "Zayed University seeks dean to lead it into the future". The National. 
  22. ^ "Longtime Emirati Education Minister Moves Aside". Al Fanar. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  23. ^ WAM 4 March 2014
  24. ^ "UAE higher education power shifts". Al-Fanar. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  25. ^ Shafaat Shahbandari (17 September 2013). "Major restructuring of ZU on cards". Gulf News. 
  26. ^ Daniel Bardsley (18 August 2008). "Meagre pay rise angers academics". The National. 
  27. ^ Pay Frozen and Job Losses Loom, The National, 13 May 2010
  28. ^ "Zayed University staff to get 2 per cent pay increase". The National. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  29. ^ "Rule changes spark mixed reactions at Zayed University". The National. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "Zayed University’s vision will remain ‘firm and untouched’". The National. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  31. ^ "Major restructuring of ZU on cards". Gulf News. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "Two Years in Abu Dhabi: Adventures teaching journalism in the UAE during the Arab Spring". Arab Media & Society'. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "American Professor Suddenly Fired from Zayed University". Insider Higher Ed. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "Political Intervention in Education". MSCHE. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  35. ^ "Why was I fired from Zayed U.?". The Chronicle for Higher Education. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

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