May 2017

8 APAC / May 2017 , 1702AP16 Centre of Excellence ProfessorMohamed-Vall M.SalemZein, President of The University of Wollongong in Dubai tells us more about this premium institution, its core values and how it strives for success. The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is arguably Australia’s most successful off-shore higher education facility and was the first private western university in the United Arab Emirates, as Professor Mohamed-Vall M.Salem Zein explains. “We operate in an extremely competitive environment as the first international university in Dubai we are intricately embedded within the local community,” explains Professor Mohamed-Vall M.Salem Zein, of UOWD. “Our challenge is to maintain our leadership status both in the market and within the community so that the strategies and outcomes of the university are in line with international standards and national strategic priorities.” Established by the University of Wollongong in Australia in 1993, UOWD has grown to become one of the most prestigious- private universities in the UAE, with a long standing reputation for academic excellence, graduate employability and exceptional student experience. “UOWD is serving the interests of the UAE as a centre of teaching, learning and research excellence. We aspire to be renowned for building a broad community that spans the region while maintaining our Australian heritage,” Professor Mohamed- Vall M.Salem Zein states. “By offering an empowering learning experience, informed by research and our external context, we aim to connect with and enrich our regional community. “We are recognised for high quality teaching as well as strong research activity (with outcomes that contribute to the development of the region), innovative degree programs (that are relevant and up-to- date), cultural diversity, valuable international connections, and effective engagement with commerce, industry, government and the UAE community.” The University will achieve its mission by: • Offering innovative, current and relevant programs that are accessible to a range of students, and deliver them with high quality teaching. • Engaging in high-quality research with outcomes that will benefit the region. • Actively collaborating with government, schools, industry, business and alumni, to enhance our research and teaching and build a strong support base for the University. • Having a student body that is engaged with university life, satisfied with their experience, and well prepared for a career. • Being a university community of international outlook, which provides our students with an international experience and students from other countries with the opportunity to learn about the UAE. • Having the business capacity, systems and performance to enable us to achieve our core goals effectively and efficiently. • Recruiting and retaining skilled and motivated staff. UOWD’s diverse student population of more than 115 nationalities promotes cultural, ethical and social development. It aims to develop graduates who are creative and critical thinkers, able to challenge and cross boundaries. The University has more than 350 staff and 4,200 fulltime students enrolled in more than 35 accredited undergraduate, masters and PhD courses. UOWD offers courses in Business, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, International Studies and Media & Communications. In addition, Professor Mohamed- Vall M.Salem Zein informs us about how the UOWD’s Language Studies Centre (LSC) offers a wide range of general and pre- tertiary language courses and communication development programs. “The internal culture at UOWD resembles a ‘family’”, explains Professor Mohamed-Vall M.Salem Zein. “When new staff joins, we welcome them to the family. As a result, staff take pride in the University’s achievements and work as a team to ensure that students are supported and major events to be delivered professionally, on time and on budget. With so many nationalities present in our organisation, our culture embraces and promotes diversity. “We place a strong focus on formal and informal professional development and training programs for various job functions that includes both academic and administrative development activities. This translates into a quality service and educational experience for our students, particularly in areas such as our extensive library, Student Services and academic support. This creates a climate of ongoing learning among both staff and students. “We seek employees that fit with our culture and values and have the right balance of skills and personality traits. We develop specific and detailed positions descriptions to ensure these attributes are included. This means that only those with the right background, experience, expertise and skill sets are hired UOWD has been successful in attracting the exceptional staff to achieve our goals.” UOWD is a world leader, held in high regard by its students, alumni and the business, government and community sectors. They integrate teaching, research, community and business linkages at global and regional levels to value-add economically, socially and culturally. “All UOWD programs are quality controlled by Australian Government Tertiary Education Quality Standards agency and also is licensed and accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education – Higher Education Affairs, through the Commission of Academic Accreditation. This means that our students and graduates can be assured of the highest quality standards consistent with current international best practice in academic instruction and assessment; learning environment and resources; and faculty and professional staff credentials. All our academics hold doctoral degrees) in their fields of expertise and are active researchers, which provides cutting edge curriculum insights. “Furthermore, our students have a very unique exposure to Australian higher education standards in a local and regional context. Our students also get