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, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai form the backbone of a fully connected global network. As one of the three 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.
NYU Abu Dhabi is pioneering a new model of higher education for a global world, dedicated at once to excellence in teaching and research and to advancing cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. Drawing on the strengths of the NYU global network, it offers an outstanding liberal arts and sciences education to undergraduate students from the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and around the world, with a distinctive focus on intercultural understanding and leadership. It supports innovative research and graduate education programs that push forward the frontiers of knowledge and respond in powerful and interdisciplinary ways to vital global and local challenges. NYUAD advances NYU as a model university for the 21st century and contributes in multiple ways to the development of a sustainable, knowledge-based economy in Abu Dhabi.
NYU Abu Dhabi will be one of the world's great research universities, with an exceptional liberal arts and sciences college at its core. A diverse and vital center of distinctive education and scholarship, actively embedded in NYU’s global network, it will be recognized as the model for a new paradigm in higher education: the university as an engine of a more peaceful, cooperative, and productive world. NYUAD will be an essential institution in and of Abu Dhabi, a leading global city that is open and dynamic, economically and culturally vibrant, and a magnet for diverse and creative people from across the UAE and around the world.