Ajman University: Climbing the ladder of prestige and quality

Karim Seghir, PhD, Chancellor of Ajman University
Karim Seghir, PhD, Chancellor of Ajman University

Innovation and imagination will be the building blocks of Ajman University's long-term transformation and sustainable future, writes Karim Seghir, PhD, Chancellor of Ajman University

The vision of Ajman University (AU) is perfectly aligned with the vision of the UAE government: to deliver a world-class education in an international environment. Thanks to the collective efforts of its stakeholders, AU has gone from a historic institution in the UAE to a pioneering leader on the global map of higher ed. The strategic goals it set for 2017-2022 - and has already met - included gaining multiple international accreditation and moving up in QS World University Rankings.

In the last two years, five separate AU programmes earned prestigious international accreditations. In 2021, AU became one of the first six higher education institutions in the world to receive global accreditation from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in the UK. Three years ago, AU debuted in the Top 1000 of the QS World University Rankings and has moved up every year since to its current position in the Top 750. None of this would have been possible without the Commission for Academic Accreditation, which sets a high bar for academic excellence in the UAE.
Driving innovation
Thanks to the strategic vision of the UAE leadership in advancing technology, AU and other institutions were well positioned to move forward with online classes. AU has successfully kept our mission in motion throughout the Covid-19 crisis because of the dedication, creativity and compassion of our faculty and staff in addition to the resilience and determination of our students. The AU Community is now uniquely positioned to become 'future-ready' by optimising new approaches to efficiency, streamlining processes, and driving innovation at every level.

We have an extraordinary opportunity - as well as the capability - to make transformation happen in order to meet the post-crisis needs of our stakeholders and the job market. Innovation and imagination will be the building blocks of Ajman University's long-term transformation and sustainable future. The goal is a stronger, safer institution - one that's more agile, more creative, more impactful.
The Covid-19 crisis is not transient. All institutions will inevitably face other challenges associated with the virus, as well as other future threats. Therefore, the time is right to embrace reforms. We must all now seize the moment to implement long-term technical and digital transformations for a more efficient and more sustainable future for our institutions
Academic excellence
There are different global ranking systems that share many common performance criteria. The objective of the world ranking systems is to assess higher education institutions worldwide against these criteria and rank them accordingly. In the UAE, the MoE has developed a higher education excellence framework to classify the academic institutions within the UAE on the basis of a number of very important performance indicators.

The excellence framework is quite comprehensive and it evaluates academic institutions considering their performance in four major areas: research and innovation; teaching and student life; internationalisation; employment and relevance. It is expected that the evaluation and classification of institutions by MoE using this excellence framework will further enhance the standard of teaching and learning and make academic institutions in the UAE even more competitive globally.
The AU community believes that diversity of people and ideas is integral to academic excellence. We value and honour broad experiences, abilities, and perspectives. AU's vast network of 36,000 alumni resides in 48 different countries. The student experience at AU is one of innovation beyond borders and it has positively impacted everything from new admissions to academic outcomes.
This year, the QS World University Rankings listed AU as having the third most international students and fifth most international faculty among all institutions worldwide. Being a part of AU's multicultural campus is a major draw for students to come here. It is also a reason they seek employment in the UAE, which is now seen as a global economic hub located at the crossroads of East and West.

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