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AURAK Actuates with UTA

June 24, 2019,

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) Department of International Programs and Partnerships (DIPP) hosted a visit for a University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) delegation consisting of Dr. Curtis Andressen, the Vice Provost, and Dr. Bahram Khalili, the Associate Professor of Instruction, to discuss the possible expansion of their previously established agreement to include the Computer Science field and student and faculty exchange opportunities.

Initial cooperation agreement between UTA and AURAK began in 2013 with the establishment of the Bachelor of Science Transfer Articulation in Civil and Mechanical Degree, better known as the ABD Plan or the Dual Degree. The degree plan enabled students enrolled in either institution to acquire an additional Bachelor of Science, and details of this agreement were updated in 2014. One of many of UTA’s fields of specialization concerns robotics and artificial intelligence, so this particular site visit was to discuss extending their collaboration to encompass the fields of Computer Science and further solidify student exchange opportunities.

The visit began with a campus tour and then met AURAK’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Success and Provost, Professor Stephen Wilhite, and the Associate Provost, Dr. Denise Gifford. Professor Stephen expressed optimism concerning an agreement with UTA.  Specifically, Professor Stephen described AURAK’s interest in developing new programs and concentrations in the field of Computer Science, including new options in artificial intelligence and robotics.  Therefore, AURAK would welcome agreements that pave the way for AURAK students to pursue graduate work in Computer Science at UTA.  Furthermore, Professor Stephen noted that establishing research collaborations between faculty at AURAK and UTA would be beneficial to AURAK in multiple ways.  First, such collaborations would contribute to the research productivity of AURAK faculty, and collaborative research would help in publicizing to AURAK students the opportunities for graduate study at UTA.  Also, such collegial relationships would potentially provide a basis for UTA faculty to provide expertise to AURAK in designing curriculum for new programs and concentrations in Computer Science and in engineering disciplines.  Finally, the Provost observed that AURAK’s collaboration with a leading research university in the U.S., such as UTA, would be highly advantageous in seeking externally funded research projects.

The UTA delegation also met with upper administration and with the President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, who was pleased by the amending of the agreement with UTA, “The University of Texas – Arlington is an institution based on quality education and rigor. A deeper collaboration will allow our students more substantial opportunities.” Their trip concluded with meeting upper level Computer Science students.