Sharjah, (UAE) February 7, 2015: American University of Sharjah (AUS) has earned an enviable reputation throughout the Gulf region and the Middle East for its academic excellence, quality of faculty, and the commitment to its students and alumni, said AUS Chancellor Björn Kjerfve to the 275 new students and their parents during the Spring Semester 2015 Welcome Session yesterday, Friday, February 6, 2015.
During his address, Dr. Kjerfve informed the new students that they have been selected from a group of highly qualified applicants. “You are among a select group, embarking on an exciting and challenging academic journey that will culminate with you emerging as graduates, becoming our new alumni equipped with skill sets that will bring you success in the workplace and make you productive members of society. You are among the top percentiles of your high school graduating class, and we aim to provide you with challenging and stimulating academic experiences in a supportive campus environment,” he said.
Dr. Kjerfve also addressed the parents and assured them that AUS took the responsibility of its students’ education seriously. “We are committed to providing an enriching campus environment where your sons and daughters can receive the best overall educational experience. All instruction is offered in English, and this will help your children become globally competitive in their chosen professions. We are truly pleased to welcome your children as members of the AUS family.”
Interim Provost Kevin Mitchell then added to the Chancellor’s welcome to new students and their families. “The fact that you have been accepted into American University of Sharjah is an accomplishment to be proud of, and I hope that it is the first of many successes that you will experience during your time at AUS.”
He also took the opportunity to welcome nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate exchange students joining AUS from Canada, Morocco, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. “All of you will be joining the students from over 90 countries who are currently studying at AUS. The diversity of AUS students and faculty is one of our greatest strengths, and I urge you to take advantage of all that a multicultural educational environment can offer to expand your knowledge and make connections to your fellow students through student organizations, sports teams, and informal interactions while walking to class,” he said.
Like Dr. Kjerfve, Mitchell also said a few words to the parents who have entrusted the education of their daughters and sons to AUS. “My colleagues and I take this trust very seriously and we are committed to providing a rigorous and rewarding educational and extracurricular experience that makes AUS a leader in higher education in the region.”
Academic integrity is one aspect of ethical behavior that is at the core of the AUS community. Mitchell asked the new students to agree to the principles set forth in the Academic Integrity Pledge, and to ensure that they understood the responsibilities that come with being an AUS student.
AUS Executive Director of Enrollment Management Ali Shuhaimy also welcomed new students and congratulated them for graduating from high school and being accepted in as selective and competitive an institution as AUS. “You represent the top 20 percent scorers of your school graduates. This achievement is proof of your academic competency, which provided the basis for being admitted to AUS; this is a feat you should be proud of. To help you build on your accomplishments, AUS promises to provide all possible and needed support to pave the way for you to continue achieving your goals.”
Mina Zuberi, Vice President of the Student Council, also addressed the freshmen and said “I am here to introduce you to an excellent academic experience provided by our notable faculty, the late nights in the library, the numerous campus events and most simply the beauty of this campus that surrounds you each time you walk to your respective colleges.”
Zuberi shared with students the importance of the Student Council, which serves as a link between students and administration and introduced her fellow members of the 2014–15 Student Council. She also asked the new students to familiarize themselves with the Student Handbook, a vital resource for them during their campus life.
“The next few days are very important for you to get to know us more, and learn your way around campus. Please attend your college orientation to know more about your major, and take part in some of the activities planned for you this week,” encouraged Zuberi.
Zuberi concluded by asking the first year students to get involved, be engaged, voice their opinion and follow their dreams.
During the orientation, students were also given copies of the AUS eBook How to Survive Your First Year at University: A Practical Guide for New Students. The guide features useful tips for freshmen on how to make the most of their new journey, develop their study skills, be informed and get support from peers and professors, manage their time effectively, join extracurricular activities, apply for on-campus jobs and more.
The welcome session will be followed by a weeklong schedule of events that aim to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the university, from logistics to procedures, which will help them for years to come. It includes on- and off-campus activities, such as city tours around Sharjah and Dubai, open house games at the Student Center, awareness sessions for parents and students, a dinner reception, and a library tour.