Sharjah: Research has been and will continue to be the central pillar of American University of Sharjah (AUS) in order to contribute to solving problems faced by society.
So declared Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President AUS, at a forum held at the AUS campus on Wednesday marking the university’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.
Global hub for knowledge creation
“This pillar puts AUS at the heart of the future of our country and the world at large, and we need to continue building on this pillar over the next 5, 10, and 25 years to ensure AUS remains a truly global hub for knowledge creation,” Sheikha Bodour said.
The forum discussed the role of research in the growth of universities, with a focus on the areas of biotechnology, medicine, biomedical engineering, supercomputers, and AI.
It also included fireside chats, roundtable discussions and presentations on “Disruptive Revolution in Education and Research” and “Teaching the Skills of the Future, Trends and Prospects.”
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder of the American University of Sharjah (AUS), and the presence of Sheikha Bodour, policymakers, decision-makers and high-profile experts in academia, industry and government discussed the future of education and knowledge in the UAE, addressing some of the most pressing issues facing higher education institutions at “The Next Lap: Future of Knowledge and Education” forum held at the AUS campus on Wednesday (March 1).
During the event, experts shared their insights on innovative solutions to the challenges facing higher education.
This pillar (research) puts AUS at the heart of the future of our country and the world at large.
‘Research puts AUS at the heart of the future of our country and the world at large’
Addressing the forum for the first time as President of AUS, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi noted: “From this stage and on this special occasion, I want to thank His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and Founder of AUS, for his vision and leadership in AUS, and for all he has done to create a centre of knowledge, a beacon of learning locally, regionally and globally”.
Highlighting the ways in which the university has stayed agile in the face of global uncertainty and rapid change, the AUS President added: “Our next generation of alumni will enter a job market that we don’t know yet. So, to ensure they follow in the footsteps of our existing alumni, we need to equip them with core skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, emotional intelligence, collaboration, adaptability and resilience, global and cultural awareness, among other skills and competencies.
“This will ensure that they will continue to be the top choice for employers and will be integral in shaping the future of our communities.”
Creating the future
Echoing the words of American computer scientist Alan Kay, she said that fully agreed with his sentiment that the only way to predict the future is to build it.
Dr. Susan Mumm, Chancellor of AUS, welcomed the attendees after which the conference heard from AUS Trustee Dr. Hisham El Sherif on the AUS vision for the future; Sultan Al Ghurair, Member of the Board of Directors of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education on the Voices of Societal Leaders; AUS Trustee Riad T. Sadek, Chairman of RTS Investments Group.
The forum’s keynote speakers Sir Richard John Roberts, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; Professor Mateo Valero, Professor of Computer Architecture, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and Founding Director of Barcelona Supercomputing Center; and Dr. Osama Gaber, Chair of the Department of Surgery, Houston Methodist Hospital.
TEDx-style presentations during the event featured AUS faculty members who spoke about their research and implications on the future of knowledge and education.
Speakers included Dr. Ghaleb Hussaini, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dana Gas Chair in Chemical Engineering; Dr. Imran Zualkernan, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering; and Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics, and Sheikha Nama Majid Al Qasimi, Chair in Education Across Disciplines.
The forum showcased AUS’ achievements in research and development, featuring alumni voices.
On the side lines of the forum, AUS hosted the “Innovators’ Corner” exhibition, a platform for AUS graduate students from various disciplines showcasing their education-related products.