NYU's agreement with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to create NYU Abu Dhabi is the outcome of a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts education, concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it, a conviction that interaction with new ideas and people who are different is valuable and necessary, and a commitment to educating students who are true citizens of the world. As the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university, NYU Abu Dhabi has been built on the following principles:
- NYU Abu Dhabi is a research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science college. It draws students from around the world, and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of our interconnected world.
- NYU Abu Dhabi equips students for leadership in all arenas of human endeavor. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and critical reflection. At NYUAD, students extend themselves and the frontiers of knowledge.
- The residential life of students is central to the University's academic mission. Learning takes place across the campus, not only in classrooms, but also in residential houses, through participation in clubs and sports, during informal campus gatherings, and being engaged with the wider community.
- NYU Abu Dhabi stimulates advanced research. The NYUAD Institute is a major research center. Research is integral to the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi, and it will also drive the University's graduate programs.
- NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York form the backbone of a fully connected global network university. As one of the two major hubs in the global network, NYUAD creates a unique capacity for faculty and students to access the assets of the entire university system.
- NYU Abu Dhabi advances the city of Abu Dhabi as a magnetic center of ideas and human talent.
The mission of the University is to provide undergraduate students an exceptional education, built on both the traditions of the finest liberal arts colleges and the resources and ideals of a major research university — to nurture in students the analytic and communicative skills, the breadth and depth of intellect, and the international perspective and experience that leadership in our increasingly interconnected world requires; to engage students in active pursuit of knowledge and understanding; to foster in them the readiness and ability to embrace conceptual and ethical complexity; to strengthen students' confidence and ability as producers of knowledge; and to offer students opportunities, both local and global, that reinforce their development into wise and effective agents of a more united, generous, and responsive world.
NYUAD will be counted among the world's great research universities, with a highly selective liberal arts and sciences college at its core. It will be a center of innovative undergraduate and graduate education, and of distinctive scholarship, research, and artistic activity. Actively connected to NYU New York and its global sites, NYUAD will embody a new paradigm in higher education for a global world. Fully integrated in Abu Dhabi society, it will help to establish the city of Abu Dhabi as a leading international hub of talent, ideas, and innovation.