History of the UAEU
Read on to learn more about the history of the UAEU. The links below take you to each specific section.
You may also be interested in our Facts and Figures page.
- 1976 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan Establishes UAEU
- Vision & Focus
- Original Mission
- Our First 20 years
- Our Faculties
- Programs and Curricula Development
- Interactive Teaching and Modern Technology
- Faculty, Resources and Scientific Research
- Organization of the University
- Growth Number of Students in 1977 and in 1996
The United Arab Emirates University was established upon the kind initiative of the then President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan (May his soul rest in peace), by virtue of the Federal Law 4 of the year 1976.
His Highness envisioned the University becoming a federal institution with an Arab-Islamic identity and a focus on intellect, culture, and science.
The University’s founding mission was to realize the aspirations of the society, deepen social ambitions, and consolidate the structural foundations. The University was intended to act as a vital and effective organ in the structure of the Union, contributing significantly to the development of the modern country and utilizing the national resources – the people, the heritage, the values, and economic resources of the United Arab Emirates.
Within its first twenty years, the UAEU became one of the leading and pioneering educational institutions in the region, with significant research and community services. These achievements reflected, and provided evidence of, the great wisdom of the educational policies and the far reaching vision of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan.
Since its establishment, the University has consistently prioritized academic program development and curricula, in order to respond to the needs of the society and to keep pace with international academic developments and trends.
This has been achieved while supporting national values, policies and strategies.
A review of the history and development of the University's first twenty years shows the impact it has had upon the United Arab Emirates. In the academic year 1977/1978, the University began with four Faculties or Colleges.
- The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, known then as the Faculty of Arts,
- The Faculty of Science
- The Faculty of Education, and
- The College of Business and Economics, known then as the Faculty of Administrative and Political Sciences
In 1978, the Faculty of Shari'ah and Law was established and in 1980, the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Engineering were established.
The post of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Scientific Research and Publishing was introduced in 1981.
The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences was established in 1986. The first Master's Degree Program was established in the Faculty of Sciences in 1991. It is an interdisciplinary program in Environmental Sciences.
(Development continued with the more recent opening of the College of Information Technology in 2001.)
During the 1990’s, the University witnessed comprehensive academic program and curricula development, throughout all Faculties. Modern educational concepts and international standards shed light and breathed energy into these developments.
The University has always paid great attention to the quality of implementation and delivery of programs and curricula.
Interactive teaching methods and technologies, including use of computers and information networks, were applied during this period to provide an environment which fosters the students' creative-thinking and self-learning abilities.
Such modernization was intended to enable graduates to cope with the rapidly changing world and the application of advanced technologies, at work and at home.
The University achieved all of these goals by recruiting distinguished Faculty Members and providing resources for their Professional Development.
Scientific Research has always been encouraged and entwined with the development of educational processes and the needs of the country.
The development of the administrative performance of the University also improved through the years following the application of successive waves of modern planning, organizational techniques and workplace technologies.
The number of students enrolled in the University increased from 502 students in the academic year 1977/1978 to more than 15,000 students in the first semester of the academic year 1996/1997 in the eight Faculties at that time.