NYUAD's global recruitment effort yields class of 161 top students from 60 countries who speak 55 languages

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) today announced that 161 of the world's top secondary school graduates, from 60 countries around the world, comprise its second entering class. The students were selected from an extraordinarily competitive admissions process that saw just over three percent of applicants admitted.

Overall, 195 students were accepted for NYUAD's Class of 2015 out of 5,858 applications, for an acceptance rate of 3.3 percent. Of those offered admission, 82.6 percent chose to attend, resulting in one of the highest college "yields" in the world.

For the second consecutive year, NYUAD partnered with the Institute of International Education (IIE), administrators of the prestigious Fulbright Program, in its recruitment efforts. Combined, the two organizations directly recruited in 118 countries around the globe.

"Our inaugural Class of 2014 set the bar very high for NYU Abu Dhabi," said John Sexton, president of New York University. "Not only do we seek academically gifted individuals admissible to any of the world's top colleges and universities — in fact, this year our students turned down the likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Oxford — but we work hard to identify future leaders who show that special spark that indicates they will thrive in the cosmopolitan environment that is NYU's global network."

Once again, the selectivity of the class was exemplified by its academic credentials. At the class' 75th percentile, the SAT math score was 800 (the highest possible score); the 75th-percentile score for critical reading was 750. The median SAT score (on the 1,600 scale) was 1,460.

In addition to representing more than 60 countries, the NYUAD Class of 2015 speaks 55 languages; combined, the NYUAD classes of 2014 and 2015 represent more than 70 countries from six continents around the world, and speak 68 languages. Nineteen percent of the Class of 2015 comes from the United States, with the next most popular countries of citizenship being the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Ethiopia, Canada, Russia, and the UK.

"NYU Abu Dhabi's students are distinctive not only in their intellectual powers and personal strengths, but in their commitment to transform those powers and strengths into the skills, knowledge, and understanding they need to make an individual difference toward a better world," said NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Al Bloom. "The extraordinary diversity of our students, faculty, and staff not only enable but compel us to appreciate where we differ and to identify where our common humanity allows us to bridge those differences. There is no better training for the generation of global leaders we must produce."

Of the 5,858 applications received by NYUAD, 1,222 individuals applied solely to the Abu Dhabi campus, while 4,636 applied to both NYU's Abu Dhabi and New York campuses. Of those admitted to the Class of 2015, 175 applied solely to NYUAD, while 20 applied to both campuses.

Top candidates for admission were invited to attend a Candidate Weekend in Abu Dhabi, during which they had the opportunity to learn more about the institution (and to allow NYUAD Admissions staff and faculty to learn more about the candidates), meet their potential faculty members, become acquainted with Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, and perhaps most importantly, spend time with current students and prospective classmates.

Of the 148 members of NYUAD's inaugural Class of 2014 who began studies last fall, 146 remain matriculated in Abu Dhabi (two are now at NYU New York). That key measure of student satisfaction was most likely a major factor in this year's recruitment success.

"To be able to get a true world view, one must not only study it, but be immersed in an international community of top students and world-class faculty," said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. "Simply put, I don't think there's a school in the world that gives students a better world view — and in doing so, prepares them for future leadership — than NYU Abu Dhabi."

NYUAD, created in partnership with the Abu Dhabi government, is a liberal arts and science college (including engineering), and a world center for advanced research and scholarship; over time, it will also offer distinctive graduate programs — all fully integrated with each other and connected to NYU in New York. Together, NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi, soon to be joined by NYU Shanghai, which will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2013, form the backbone of a unique global network university, with faculty and students from each campus spending semesters at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents.

NYUAD students enjoy close faculty interactions, with a student-to-faculty ratio that is currently four to one, and will not exceed eight to one. Faculty consists of those appointed by NYUAD, members of NYU New York's faculty who have been appointed NYUAD Affiliated Faculty, and global professors who are visiting from some of the world's top universities.

New faculty at NYUAD this year include: Guggenheim Fellow and Bancroft Prize winner Linda Gordon, NYU University Professor of the Humanities; Abdel Noury, whose co-authored book, Democratic Politics in the European Parliament, was awarded the Fenno Prize by the American Political Science Association; Peter Bearman, Cole Professor of the Social Sciences at Columbia University and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute, leading its efforts to secure political empowerment for Arab Americans; and Global Professor of Mathematics Eugene Trubowitz, of NYU's Courant Institute, renowned for his research in quantum statistical engineering and general relativity.

Since opening its doors, NYUAD has developed extensive — and continually growing — connections to both its host city and country. The NYUAD Institute hosts a popular public lecture series, along with a series of academic workshops and conferences that attract leading scholars from around the world to Abu Dhabi. In addition, NYUAD's Sheikh Mohamed Scholars Program is entering its fourth year as a highly selective program for students attending other UAE universities, providing them with a unique, multicultural learning opportunity intended to assist in the development of their critical thinking and leadership skills. This summer also saw the launch of the NYUAD Summer Academy, a two-year summer program designed to prepare UAE secondary school students for entry into top-tier international universities.

Admission to NYUAD is "need blind": admissions decisions are made without regard to the students' financial needs. The school tailors its financial support programs to meet individual needs. All aid is in the form of grants or fellowships; students and families do not need to take on debt to support an NYUAD education.