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AURAK Considers the Luck of the Irish

February 28, 2019,

Through the arrangement of the Al Quasami Foundation, the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) met with InvestNI, a branch of the British Embassy that promotes links between universities in Northern Ireland and the UAE, to explore the possibilities of establishing an international partnership.

An AURAK delegation lead by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Professor Daniel Kirk, met with an InvestNI delegation in which they discovered four areas for collaboration: education, sustainability, management and leadership, and short-term international experiences. AURAK, an independent, public, state-owned, non-profit, coeducational institution of higher education offering degrees based on the North American model and the cultural characteristics of the Gulf region, is aiming to grow the Ras Al Khaimah teaching population, develop a stem-focused bachelors program in teaching, and expand the Master’s program for already employed UAE teachers, and recognized the many advantages a partnership with a Northern Irish university would facilitate obtaining those goals. Perceiving the value of the environmental research transpiring at AURAK’s specialized research center, RAKRIC, InvestNI suggested the possibility of AURAK joining SIM, a government initiative under the British Embassy directed at international collaboration concerning energy and water conservation and other environmental issues. The Dean of the School of Business, Professor Joseph Wallis, was intrigued with enhancing the Executive MBA program with a study abroad component. In addition, Associate Provost for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Denise Gifford, was elated with the possibility of adding to AURAK’s library of credit-bearing international study abroad and student exchange options.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success, Professor Stephen Wilhite, was just as optimistic with the venture, “Following SACSCOC accreditation we are aligning with a new strategic plan emphasizing on international partnerships. This type of collaboration is important to our institution, and we will be delighted to develop something that will benefit all of the parties involved.”