Official Updates

Update on NYU Abu Dhabi Response to Coronavirus

April 2, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Family Members

As NYU Abu Dhabi continues to manage the complexities related to the coronavirus, our focus is on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our community and ensuring academic continuity as best we can.

Each day we see new developments related to the virus and the steps that governments and universities around the world are taking to limit its spread. This week, the UAE Ministry of Education announced that schools and universities would continue online learning until the end of the academic year.

For NYU Abu Dhabi, this means we will continue with online instruction for the remainder of our spring semester as well as our summer courses in May and June. The faculty are making extraordinary efforts to provide rich online classes and assignments, and our students are doing their part to maintain an effective learning environment online. I monitor these efforts closely, and can say that my own seminar of 16 students is showing incredible creativity and resilience despite the difficulties.

There has not been a confirmed case of coronavirus within the NYU Abu Dhabi community. We continue to follow the latest requirements and guidance from the local health authorities as well as the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control, and the medical research community. In keeping with these advisories, we are implementing strict precautions on campus to maintain community health, including ongoing deep cleaning, disinfection, and physical distancing.

Our efforts are further strengthened by the extensive preventative measures the UAE has introduced, with national public health authorities taking continuous, widespread steps to limit the spread of the virus. These include extensive testing efforts, a comprehensive contact-tracing system, and nationwide physical distancing measures.

Overall, the community spirit of our students, professors, and staff is good, but we are keenly aware that it’s natural for students to feel a sense of anxiety and worry for friends and family. Please rest assured that we have a range of supports in place for our community and are exploring additional wellbeing resources. It’s also important for all of us to have social connection even as we maintain physical distance, and each day amazing new online initiatives are launched within our community to do so, including virtual fitness classes, open mic poetry events, mindfulness education programs, and even virtual film festivals. All are designed to enable our students to engage in meaningful social contact during these challenging times.

We will continue to post updates and information on the University’s response to the coronavirus to our central webpage, and I encourage you to check back often.

Our community is our greatest strength, as it has been for ten years. I am confident that our community will have been made stronger and more unified for having come through these experiences together. Please take care of yourselves and know that we are doing our utmost to take care of your students and maintain their academic progress. I send best wishes to you and your families.

Mariët Westermann