Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi to open world's first AI university

Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi
reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 10, 2020 | Last updated on September 10, 2020 at 06.32 am
university, artificial intelligence, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, abu dhabi, uae, education

(Supplied photo)

Twenty-one Emirati students, including seven women, were admitted into the MBZUAI for its first academic year.

A total of 101 graduate students from 31 countries will be attending the world's first artificial intelligence university in Abu Dhabi, when it opens for its first academic year on January 10, 2021. 

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) initially planned to accept only 50 students for its first year, but with the impressive number of applications it received, the admission offers were extended to more students. 

Eighty-two will be taking up MSc programmes in computer vision and in machine learning, while 19 have been selected for the MBZUAI's PhD programmes in the same fields.

Twenty-one per cent of students are from the UAE, while 13 per cent come from other parts of the Middle East. Some 38 per cent are from Asia; 21 per cent from Africa; and nearly 10 per cent from the Americas and Europe. 

There will also be a strong female representation in the MBZUAI's first academic year, with women comprising 30 per cent of admitted students. Over 23 per cent of female students who have received offers are Emirati, while 13 per cent come from India and 10 per cent from Syria. 

Admitted students have received education at some of the world's leading universities, including the National University of Singapore, University of Melbourne, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue University, University of York, University of Minnesota, Queen's University of Belfast, Arizona State University, and Khalifa University in the UAE. 

Professor Sir Michael Brady, interim president of the MBZUAI, said: "The university received applications from some exceptionally talented graduate students from nearly 100 countries, all of whom have compelling and unique stories. 

"Our hope from the very beginning was for MBZUAI to inspire the development of AI on a global scale. With students from around the world, all of whom come from different backgrounds and industries, this is a solid start to realising the full potential of AI for positive progress around the world."   

Future AI experts

Salem Almarri, a UAE national, will join the university's PhD computer vision programme. "As an Emirati, it is very important for me to develop world-class solutions for the UAE, to make my mark on the AI sector," he said. 

"AI will give humanity a chance to develop a new world based on better solutions. The MBZUAI will contribute towards this by bridging the gap between research, government, and the private sector, empowering graduates to become expert consultants who can provide the UAE with the means to gain more growth in the future development of AI and machine learning."

Kevin Michael Toner, an incoming student from Ireland, hopes to contribute to the real-life applications of AI by studying at the MBZUAI. 

"Today artificial intelligence is redefining the future of every industry and impacting human lives in an unprecedented way. As demand for specialised AI education increases globally, joining a world-class university like MBZUAI will help expand my horizons and connect me to an international network of AI industry experts," Toner said. 

Fall applications

With the first admissions cycle successfully completed, the university recently started accepting applications for the Fall 2021 cohort. 

Applications are being submitted for a Fall 2021 start in MBZUAI's MSc and PhD programs in computer vision and machine learning. 

Eligible students must have graduated with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field in order to be considered for MBZUAI's MSc programmes; and must hold a relevant master's degree for the PhD programmes. Full admissions requirements can be found on MBZUAI's website, mbzuai.ac.ae.

Graduate students can apply via the University's website before April 15, 2021. Early admission by January 15, 2021, is recommended for international students.

Located in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, the MBZUAI campus is purpose-built, high-tech, and eco-friendly. It features futuristic classrooms and research laboratories, an AI-specialised knowledge centre, and recreational facilities. 









Staff Reporter

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