The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) traces its origins to 2005 when George Mason University (U.S.A.) established its Ras Al Khaimah campus (GMU-RAK). This foundational phase laid the groundwork for what would eventually become AURAK, symbolizing the region's continuation and evolution of higher education.

AURAK was established in 2009, building on the legacy and initial setup provided by GMU-RAK. The establishment of AURAK aimed to maintain the momentum of quality education and to fulfill Ras Al Khaimah's growing educational needs.

AURAK's leadership has seen several visionary figures contributing significantly to its development. Professors Sharon Siverts and Dr. Shaukat Mirza provided early leadership, helping to stabilize and define the institution’s direction. In 2014, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim took over the presidency, leading the university into a period of expansion and innovation until his retirement in 2023. In August of 2023, the AURAK Board of Trustees appointed Dr. David A. Schmidt as president.

Under this dynamic leadership, AURAK has broadened its academic horizons, adding three new schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Computing, and the School of Business. These schools have played a pivotal role in elevating AURAK's academic standing and have helped the university secure multiple accreditations from prestigious bodies such as the CAA (UAE), SACSCOC (US), and QAA (UK). A significant milestone was achieving the QS 5 Stars Plus rating, marking AURAK as the first university in the UAE to receive this honor.

AURAK's current strategy emphasizes cultivating excellence in its existing curricular offerings while improving institutional policies and procedures. With enrollment expected to grow significantly, AURAK is well-positioned to attract educators, economists, business entrepreneurs, and other professionals. This growth aligns with the strong global economy and the university's commitment to meeting national and regional workforce needs, enhancing its regional and global recognition.

The Future Ahead

Looking ahead, AURAK is dedicated to enhancing its curriculum and institutional policies. The institution is poised for significant growth, with a projected annual increase in student enrollment of 35% over the next five years. This expansion will continue to draw a diverse group of educators, economists, business entrepreneurs, and other professionals. AURAK's strategic developments align with Ras Al Khaimah’s recognition as the fourth-best city globally for expats, underscoring the region's high quality of life, ease of settling in, and excellent professional opportunities. These factors contribute to AURAK's success and its standing as a leading institution for higher education.

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Last Updated: 03 Jul 2024

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