In the academic year 2005-06, representatives of NYU and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi met and recognized that a partnership between the government of Abu Dhabi — with its goal of establishing world-class educational and cultural institutions in the UAE — and NYU — with its goal of achieving a truly international, global network university — could be furthered through the establishment of NYU Abu Dhabi.
The agreement to build NYU Abu Dhabi is based on a shared understanding of the essential role of quality higher education in a global society: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts and sciences education; concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it; a conviction that interaction with new ideas and those who are different is valuable; and a commitment to educating students who are citizens of the world, prepared to lead at home and contribute to global trade, politics, and culture.
Both the government of Abu Dhabi and NYU are committed to building a US-style, research-focused educational institution. NYU Abu Dhabi is a residential research university and a branch of NYU New York, operated consistent with NYU New York's academic quality and practices.
NYU Abu Dhabi consists of a highly selective liberal arts and sciences college and a world center for advanced research and scholarship — integrated with each other and connected through technology to NYU New York. Over time, NYU Abu Dhabi will also offer distinctive graduate and professional programs. Together, NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global network, with faculty and students from New York or Abu Dhabi spending "semesters away" at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on five continents. 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 NYU Abu Dhabi, faculty and students extend the frontiers of knowledge, and they extend themselves.
The residential life of students is central to the 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 engaging in the wider community.
NYU Abu Dhabi stimulates and is a home for advanced research, with the NYUAD Institute as a major research center. Engagement in research is integral to the undergraduate experience at NYU Abu Dhabi, and it will drive the University's graduate programs.
As one of the three major hubs in the global network, NYU Abu Dhabi creates a unique capacity for faculty and students to access the assets of the entire university system.
New York University in Abu Dhabi Corporation is a New York not-for-profit, which is registered as a branch of a foreign entity in Abu Dhabi and supports NYU in fulfilling its educational and research mission and contributing to the evolution of Abu Dhabi as an international center of ideas and human capital development.
The international composition, rigorous academic program, innovative research capacity, and rich array of extracurricular options that characterize NYU Abu Dhabi are aligned with Abu Dhabi's vision of having a world-renowned education system within the emirate in parallel with the evolution of the city as a global ideas center.
NYU and its Abu Dhabi partners share important perspectives — a mindfulness of history, but a focus on the future; a belief that the evolving global dynamic will bring about the emergence of a set of world centers of intellectual, cultural, and educational strength, great magnets that will draw people of talent and talent-based enterprises (business, educational, and cultural); and an understanding that a requisite ingredient to the success of any idea capital is the presence of an outstanding research university.
NYU, as a university that is based in New York — one of the most globally far-reaching of cities and tied into a network of research and teaching sites in idea capitals around the world — naturally embraces these principles. Moreover, NYU — as a university that has transformed itself in recent decades from a local university to a world-class research university — understands, admires, and feels a kinship for those who embrace large, audacious, transformative plans, such as those envisioned by our Abu Dhabi partners.
In addition, a presence in the region enhances the ability of the University, its faculty, and its students to participate in a dialogue with the Middle East in all its connections to the world. And an NYU campus in Abu Dhabi provides students throughout the world who might not come to New York with access to an NYU liberal arts education.
Over time, the dynamic relationship between NYU's campuses in New York and Abu Dhabi will become a vital force linking the two cities as innovative idea capitals, where world-class universities will support a rich and nuanced public dialogue, propel innovation, and educate leaders and citizens of the world.
Since its origins, NYU has been a university "in and of the city." As NYU has expanded its international presence in recent years, it has become a university "in and of the world." NYU Abu Dhabi enhances and expands NYU's global character and efforts. The region's status as a historic, economic, cultural, and strategic crossroads made exploration of a partnership natural. If NYU Abu Dhabi is in one sense a culmination of NYU's long-term endeavor to expand opportunities for its students worldwide, it is also an effort to develop a new paradigm for the university as a dynamic global network.
NYU Abu Dhabi provides faculty and students with research opportunities across the disciplines, from the arts and humanities to science, social science, and engineering. The NYUAD Institute is a world-class center of cutting-edge research on the campus, serving as a hub of advanced research, creative endeavor, and public discourse. NYU faculty engage in research projects, scholarly interactions, research conferences, and workshops. The Institute enhances the interaction and flow of faculty and students between New York and Abu Dhabi, and attracts leading scholars and researchers from around the world.
NYU Abu Dhabi is an anchor of the global NYU network.
There was extensive consultation.
Immediately following initial conversations with representatives from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, faculty and administrative groups undertook academic and financial due diligence studies. The Faculty Senators Council formed the FSC Educational Policies Branch Campuses Committee to advise the administration. Two working committees were also formed — the Legal/Administrative Committee and the Faculty Steering Committee. The Legal/Administrative Committee led the legal due diligence and discussions with its counterpart in Abu Dhabi. The Faculty Steering Committee led the academic due diligence and initial academic visioning. As a part of this diligence process, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Academic Priorities was consulted on a regular basis.
Additional advisory committees were formed in the areas of liberal arts education, department start-up, residential life and academic advising, student recruitment, and faculty recruitment. A campus-wide forum on the prospect of an NYU campus in the Gulf was held in March 2007. Approximately 15 faculty and administrators from these various subcommittees and constituencies traveled to the UAE during the spring semester of 2007, prior to the agreement being signed and announced in the fall of 2007.
These advisory committees confirmed the many advantages to NYU of establishing a campus in Abu Dhabi. And the NYU Abu Dhabi campus is now a catalyzing anchor of a global NYU network that comprises additional undergraduate study-abroad sites and graduate degree-granting locations.
Since the announcement, faculty and administration officials involved in the development of NYU Abu Dhabi have consulted actively with senior leaders from other institutions of higher learning in the region to gain insight from their experiences.
In the fall of 2008, after nearly a year of work by faculty/administration committees on the general contours of the curriculum, six Coordinating Committees were established (Arts, Economics and Finance, Engineering, Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences) to coordinate work on detailed curriculum development and faculty recruitment. Each Coordinating Committee consists of six faculty members, and the Coordinating Committees work with the departments, units, or schools of the University.
NYU Abu Dhabi, in effect, is simultaneously a school and an anchor — with NYU New York — of the NYU global network. It grants NYU degrees. The campus is now led by its second Vice Chancellor, Mariet Westermann, who returned to NYU after nearly 10 years at the Mellon Foundation. NYU Abu Dhabi has a standing faculty, each of whom are chosen and sponsored by departments, units, or schools of NYU New York and affiliated with them. NYU Abu Dhabi developed its procedures for appointing its standing faculty in conjunction with NYU New York. In addition, NYU Abu Dhabi has many affiliated NYU faculty from Washington Square teaching and conducting research in Abu Dhabi on a regular basis. There are also a number of faculty appointed jointly to NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York; these faculty spend 50 percent of their time on each campus, and serve as bridges between the two units of NYU. NYU Abu Dhabi students spend at least one term at NYU in New York or at NYU's study-abroad sites, and NYU students enrolled in Washington Square may study abroad at NYU Abu Dhabi.
NYU Abu Dhabi is distinct from NYU's study-abroad sites and programs: it is a "portal campus" (a way to enter fully the NYU system and a place, like New York, where one could remain for all of his or her time at NYU); a degree-granting research institution offering comprehensive liberal arts and science undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering; and, in due course, will also offer graduate degree-granting programs.
The student body of NYU Abu Dhabi — representing some 110 countries across six continents — is of diverse national, linguistic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
NYU Abu Dhabi is located in the marina district of Saadiyat Island. The natural island, 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi, is being developed and will include a central business district, an ecological zone, and a cultural district that will feature several museums, including the Guggenheim and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The Saadiyat campus was designed to promote interaction between living and learning, between faculty, students and staff, between the disciplines, and between research and teaching. The arrangement of offices; the visibility across large areas and between indoors and outdoors; the connections between buildings so that none stand alone; the outdoor gathering spaces; the mixed-use buildings; and of course the on-campus living — these are among the ways the campus design encourages interaction among the members of our community.
NYU Abu Dhabi and its government partner are committed to ensuring fair working and living conditions for employees of service providers and contractors who work at the NYUAD campus. NYUAD and its government partner developed a Supplier Code of Conduct (SCC), based on UAE law, to reflect and uphold that commitment.
The SCC sets contractual requirements for those companies providing services on the NYUAD campus. These standards address hiring practices, working hours and overtime, accommodation, personal documents, non-discrimination, and protection from harassment.
NYUAD has a methodical monitoring, compliance, and enforcement system, which includes regular interviews, complaint review and investigation, spot-checks, accommodation inspections, and documentation reviews.
In 2015, NYUAD and its partner also appointed a third party organization — the UK-based Impactt Limited — to audit compliance with its labor standards.
An April 2015 report by Nardello & Co. confirmed that the project’s labor standards and compliance program benefited some two-thirds of the individuals who worked on the now-completed construction of the NYUAD campus. The firm’s investigation found that the program generally worked as intended by effectively and routinely identifying and resolving issues of contractor non-compliance.
The report also highlighted a compliance gap that resulted in some subcontractors falling outside of the project’s labor standards and compliance oversight. To address the gap the project partners are seeking to provide a one-time payment to those workers who were not covered by the compliance-monitoring program, to bring their compensation in line with what they should have received under our labor standards. Tamkeen and NYUAD appointed Currie & Brown as an independent third party to administer this process, and an update on this process was provided in May, 2017.
NYU Abu Dhabi offers two NYU undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS).
Over time, the University will phase in select graduate programs.
The NYU Abu Dhabi curriculum, in the tradition of a liberal arts and science college, exposes students to challenging ideas, bodies of knowledge, cultural traditions, and transformative achievements. It deepens reflection about the human condition to help students develop their abilities and realize their potential.
The core liberal arts curriculum of NYU Abu Dhabi provides broad introductions to the major questions, research protocols, thought processes, and practices that drive the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Engineering.
The NYUAD core consists of:
2 Core Colloquia, each of which addresses a significant global challenge from a multidisciplinary perspective.
4 Core Competency Courses, one each in:
One course designated as filling a Quantitative Reasoning (Q) requirement, one that fills an Experimental Inquiry (E) requirement, and one that fills an Islamic Studies (X) requirement. These will be drawn from courses across the curriculum — in and out of the Core — as indicated in the forthcoming bulletin.
All Core courses develop students’ abilities to formulate precise questions and arrive at well-reasoned and effectively communicated conclusions about themselves and the world we share.
Additionally, students in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences specialize in a major that is declared no later than the fourth semester. Science and Engineering students normally begin their majors during the first year.
Students may also choose from two types of optional concentrations — multidisciplinary and disciplinary — which offer a basis for the rigorous study of disciplines that complement the major area of study or are of personal interest to a student. A broad choice of electives are available as well, including up to three courses in a pre-professional track. And every student completes the undergraduate degree with an independent Capstone project or thesis.
NYU has unfettered authority over academic programs at NYU Abu Dhabi.
The faculty of NYU developed the curriculum.
During 2007-08, the undergraduate program framework for NYU Abu Dhabi was developed by the Academic Cabinet and Faculty Working Groups of NYU Abu Dhabi. These committees were composed of NYU faculty members and the academic leadership team for NYU Abu Dhabi. The cabinet consisted of directors in five broad disciplinary areas: humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, and engineering. Each cabinet member led a faculty working group of three to five members drawn from schools across the University. Various components of the proposed curriculum were discussed with department chairs and faculty in disciplines that were to be represented at NYU Abu Dhabi.
The content generated in this way was submitted for review and vetted by the provost and the Deans' Council of NYU. The finalized curriculum framework was presented to NYU's university-wide faculty curriculum committees for advice and consent in May 2008.
The design development of the curriculum was completed by six coordinating groups of NYU faculty members in the main disciplinary domains for NYU Abu Dhabi: arts, economics and finance, engineering, humanities, science, and social science. Each coordinating group is chaired by a dean of NYU, and each has five faculty members in addition to the dean. The groups developed the requirements for the major in their respective fields, and planned courses in close relation to faculty recruitment. They worked with the departments, units, and schools of NYU to engage NYU faculty for participation in NYU Abu Dhabi and to recruit standing faculty worldwide.
Yes. NYU's formal affiliation with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (formerly Polytechnic Institute of NYU) in summer 2008, as well as extant programs in NYU schools, were instrumental in building the engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Yes. NYU Abu Dhabi has a state-of-the-art library with over 40,000 books, 4,000 DVDs, 1,200 online databases and access to over 1 million e-books. The NYUAD Library uses innovative technology, provides space for group study and team projects, and provides access to the NYU Bobst Library's collection of 4 million books. The Library has special collections including first and early editions of Shakespeare plays in translation, rare books on Arab history, maps, films, and more.
English is the language of instruction at NYU Abu Dhabi. Select courses in Language and Literature are conducted in other languages.
The NYUAD admission process applies the standards of quality consistent with those of the finest undergraduate institutions; students who do not fit comfortably among the most accomplished of those admitted to NYU New York will not be admitted to NYU Abu Dhabi.
The curriculum for NYU Abu Dhabi was developed by NYU faculty in accordance with the same standards as those used in developing curricula at Washington Square.
As in New York, NYU Abu Dhabi's faculty is appointed according to the highest credentials of scholarly, creative, and pedagogic accomplishment. NYU Abu Dhabi's faculty includes faculty from NYU New York who visit regularly, as well as newly appointed standing faculty who reside permanently in Abu Dhabi, as well as a select number of faculty appointed jointly to NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York who split their time evenly between the two campuses. All faculty members resident in Abu Dhabi are appointed with approval of the provost of NYU and the vice chancellor of NYUAD.
Yes. NYU Abu Dhabi enjoys full academic freedom as it exists at NYU New York.
As at NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi operates consistently with the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
As in other countries in which NYU has programs, members of the NYU Abu Dhabi community should be respectful of local culture and customs.
Active participation by NYU New York faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi is essential, particularly in linking the new campus to NYU New York and ensuring that the standards of academic excellence that prevail in Washington Square characterize NYU Abu Dhabi. Beginning in fall 2008, deans and department chairs began speaking with faculty about teaching and research opportunities in Abu Dhabi, as well as logistics such as housing, schooling for children, and travel.
In advance of NYU Abu Dhabi opening to students in the fall of 2010, the NYUAD Institute began establishing an immediate presence for NYU in Abu Dhabi and presenting extensive programming characteristic of the full intellectual productivity of a major university. The Institute issued its first call for faculty proposals and a full range of activities began in the fall of 2008. Read a full description.
The Institute enhances interaction and flow of faculty based in New York and Abu Dhabi, and brings leading scholars from around the world. Extant university communities in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the Gulf are encouraged to attend public programs or participate in the Institute's research culture.
Compelling research and teaching opportunities at NYU Abu Dhabi are available for faculty of NYU New York. Interested faculty may alert their dean or department chair, who must nominate faculty to the relevant coordinating committee (a faculty coordinating committee has been created in each disciplinary area). To maximize the opportunities for faculty participation, flexible academic models and an equally flexible academic calendar were developed for NYU Abu Dhabi.
NYU Abu Dhabi faculty are appointed with approval of the provost of NYU and the vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi on the recommendation of NYU faculty. Initially, searches were conducted by the academically relevant units at NYU New York, but now that the initial faculty has been built at NYU Abu Dhabi, appropriate procedures for appointing its standing faculty have been developed in conjunction with NYU New York. NYU Abu Dhabi uses the same standards that prevail at NYU New York to appoint faculty, including NYU's academic and non-discrimination standards.
Yes. NYU Abu Dhabi has both tenured and tenure-track positions, according to the same standards that prevail at NYU New York.
Yes. NYU Abu Dhabi's classrooms, laboratories, library, student center, and most other facilities are fully co-educational. There are separate student residences for men and women.
Students at NYU Abu Dhabi are encouraged to study abroad at any of NYU's worldwide study sites, and they are encouraged to spend a semester and/or summer at NYU's campus in New York. NYU students enrolled in New York are welcome to spend a term at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Co-curricular activities and learning outside the classroom are important for building campus community and enhancing a liberal arts and sciences education. There are a wide range of student clubs and activities available at NYUAD. Activities such as camel racing, volunteer opportunities, and regional trips take place throughout each semester. Some specific events that student organizations have held are film screenings, open mic nights, and holiday parties. In addition, the NYUAD Athletics Department organizes athletic outings such as rock climbing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Yes. As in New York, religious counselors are available for NYU Abu Dhabi's multi-faith environment.
Students and faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi have access to the same research and educational materials they currently enjoy at NYU New York, including unrestricted access to the internet.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It occupies nearly 87 percent of the country's total landmass and includes the capital — the city of Abu Dhabi — and a second major city named Al Ain, located near the emirate's border with Oman. According to the 2005 census, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is home to over 1.3 million people, the majority of whom are expatriates.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi holds 9 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and almost 5 percent of the world's proven supplies of natural gas. However, the government of Abu Dhabi is overseeing an ambitious strategy to diversify the local economy over the next two to three decades to ensure that the emirate continues to grow in a balanced and sustainable way.
From the government's perspective, significant and ongoing investment in education is central to the successful achievement of all of its social and economic objectives, and the establishment of NYU Abu Dhabi is an important element in that effort. Among the UAE national population, there are currently more women than men enrolled in higher education.
Established in 1971, the UAE is a federation with two separate levels of government. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is also the president of the country.
Yes. UAE law does not prohibit individuals who have Israeli stamps in their passports from entering the UAE.
NYU Abu Dhabi hires faculty and recruits students on the basis of outstanding academic and creative qualifications and potential. NYU Abu Dhabi does not discriminate on the basis of national origin in its admissions and hiring practices. As in the US, individuals invited to attend any educational institution in the UAE must lawfully enter the country under prevailing local immigration laws. The UAE does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and therefore does not recognize Israeli passports for the purposes of entry into the country. NYU is committed, however, to working to facilitate the participation of all NYU Abu Dhabi faculty and students.
Yes. In a statement issued on February 19, 2009, issued by the director of the Consular Affairs Department of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sultan al Qortasi, and a February 25, 2009, letter to The Washington Post editor from Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, in connection with the UAE's decision to admit an Israeli tennis player to participate in an international tournament, it was stated that:
"The decision to issue the permit is in line with the UAE's commitment to a policy of permitting any individual to take part in international sports, cultural and economic events or activities being held in the country, without any limitation being placed on participation by citizens of any member country of the United Nations."
Abu Dhabi translates literally to "father of the gazelle," in reference to an indigenous type of deer said to have inhabited the area. To this day, a particular species of native Arabian gazelle is referred to as "dhabi" in Arabic.
The United Arab Emirates was established as a nation on December 2, 1971. When the British announced their intention to withdraw from the region, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the UAE, successfully negotiated agreements between the emirates that now make up the nation.
The United Arab Emirates has a federal government with seven regional subdivisions, called emirates. The head of the federal government is the president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi is the name of both the capital city and the largest of the emirates. The seven emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi makes up approximately 87 percent of the country's total landmass. About 70 percent of the land is desert, but Abu Dhabi also has 700 kilometers of coastline and some 200 islands.
The climate of Abu Dhabi is hot and arid. From June to September maximum temperatures average above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity is high. During the cooler months, from November to March, average temperatures range from 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). There is very little rainfall in Abu Dhabi; February is generally the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 42 millimeters (1.65 inches).
Arabic is the official language of government and business in the UAE, although English, Persian, Hindi, and Urdu are also spoken. All signs (road, store, restaurant, etc.) are either in English or in both English and Arabic. It is quite easy to navigate the city using English. As a general rule, a wider range of languages is spoken — and with a higher level of fluency — in major cities than in rural areas.
Abu Dhabi is considered conservative but tolerant when it comes to dress code. Given the diverse nature of the population, one can see many different types of dress in Abu Dhabi (jeans, saris, business suits, dishdashas, and abayas). Visitors are free to wear the same clothes that they would wear at home, but both men and women typically refrain from wearing excessively revealing clothing out of respect for the local culture and customs. For most of the year, lightweight summer clothing is suitable. Warmer clothes are needed during the winter months, especially in the evening.
The UAE's population is about 8.3 million and it is one of the most ethnically diverse in the Middle East. Roughly 11 percent of the population is Emirati; with other major demographic groups including South Asians, other Arab nationals, East Asians, and Western expatriates.
The official religion of the UAE is Islam, although other religions are respected and practiced freely.
The currency of the UAE is the dirham, which is divided into 100 fils. The UAE dirham is fixed to the US dollar at a rate of 3.67 dirham to the dollar.
The UAE is in Greenwich Mean Time plus four hours, or nine hours ahead of New York in Standard Time. During Daylight Savings Time, Abu Dhabi is eight hours ahead of New York.
No. The government of Abu Dhabi addresses all of the costs associated with the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.
Like other schools at NYU, NYU Abu Dhabi is not separately incorporated. It is operated as a school of NYU and supported by New York University in Abu Dhabi Corporation, a New York not-for-profit, which is registered to do business in Abu Dhabi. NYU Abu Dhabi shares fully in the educational and research mission of NYU.