The 49th Association of Arab Universities’ General Conference: The Sheikh Zayed Session.
The 49th Association of Arab Universities’ General Conference was opened on Sunday 10th April 2016 at the United Arab Emirates University. This year’s conference was held in honor of His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The two-day event was attended by more than 300 principals and chancellors from Arab and other international universities.
Professor Dr. Mohamed Abdullah Al Baili, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, gave the opening speech on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, Vice Chancellor of UAEU. He greeted the delegates and wished them every success. He said that, “this conference hopes to improve cooperation among Arab universities in order to develop education system in the region. It is the responsibility of Arab universities to address the needs of their communities by supporting research and innovation.” He further stressed the commitment of UAEU to leadership and excellence in its programs. The university is proud receiving accreditation from the Western Association of American Colleges and Universities (WASC). Dr. Al Baili took receipt of the conference flag and the Association of Arab Universities shield.
Father Dr. Selim Daccache, Rector of Saint Joseph University, and Chair of 48th Conference thanked UAEU for hosting this year’s conference and for a warm welcome. He stressed the continuing role that the Association of Arab Universities seeks to play by addressing issues and problems from the Pacific to the Gulf in terms of university governance, research and student issues.
Professor Sultan Abu-Orabi Aladwan, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities stressed that the association was founded to support Arab universities in preparing graduates capable of serving their communities and achieving the aspirations of the people. He explained that the objectives of the association are cooperation, mutual recognition of qualifications, supporting creativity, promoting free movement of students and faculty between Arab educational institutions amongst other goals.
The opening ceremony ended by honoring the winners of the Distinguished Arab Research Award in Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences. This was awarded to Dr. Anas Abd El Raouf Al Nabulsi and Dr. Bilal Suleiman of the Jordanian University of Science and Technology. The Distinguished Arab Research Award for Humanities and Social Sciences went to Dr. Ahmed Mujaira from the University of Qatar and Dr. Anwar Mohammed from the Ahmed Bin Mohammed Military College in Qatar.
The conference agenda covered many subjects. On the first day they reviewed the activities of each of the councils, centers and scientific associations. Also discussed was cooperation between the association and other regional and international organizations as well as the Distinguished Arab Research Award. They also discussed applications for membership from universities wishing to join the association.
The second day was devoted to sub committees. These are finance, membership, scientific, cultural, organizational and administrative. Recommendations will be made and submitted to the conference for approval. The Executive Board of the Association of Arab Universities will also meet to discuss topics to be presented for final approval.