Abu Dhabi: After achieving its highest-ever placed global ranking — coming in at 268 on QS World University Rankings — Khalifa University is aiming to go higher to cement itself as the UAE’s leading university.
“Rankings give momentum to the country and its education sector — in the UK, you hear about Oxford or Cambridge, in the US, it’s Harvard; every country should have a leading university that other universities within the country can look up to,” said Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president at Khalifa University.
“The UAE is still a young country, its universities are young as well and so in terms of reputation building, it’s not going to be easy when going up against older universities that have been around for 100 years — these universities have been in the market for a very long time and so they have advantage,” he added.
Despite the head start of other older universities, Al Hammadi said that young institutes like Khalifa University had already managed to achieve a lot in such a short period thanks to the continued improvement of the country’s education sector.
“We have to be patient; we still have much work ahead of us. If we look at the country’s education sector, we will see that it is always improving from schools all the way up to universities. Both need to work hand in hand; as the schools improve, it leads us to raise our standards as well,” he added.
Al Hammadi however pointed out that not everything is about rankings; a university’s main goal is to ultimately contribute to the country.
“We don’t forget why we were created - to provide the market with talented engineers, scientists and doctors as well now thanks to our new College of Medicine,” he added.
Along with providing the human capacity and talent, Al Hammadi said the university was also looking to benefit society with research projects that provides real world solutions for the public.
“At the university, we have a full chain that starts from the basic sciences into the prototype and finally making that marketable. We have our own technology transfer office which helps us to register patents. Today, we have at least 70 patents registered,” he added.