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11th Commencement Ceremony of AURAK celebrates uniqueness of American system, as 213 graduates receive degrees
  • The graduates were from 23 different nationalities, including a significant number of Emirati nationals
  • Almost 50% of the graduates were women
  • Programs like biotechnology, educational leadership, civil & infrastructure and electronics & communications engineering were in the limelight

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, November 13, 2022: International and Emirati students, pursuing a diverse range of subjects, including biotechnology and educational leadership, received their degrees at the 11th Commencement Ceremony of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) held on its campus on November 10.

A total of 213 graduates, including 111 Emiratis and 102 foreign students from 23 different nationalities, were conferred degrees in the presence of Mr. Mohammed Omran Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, AURAK; Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President of AURAK; Ms. Meghan Gregonis, United States Consul General and Prof. Stephen C. Wilhite, Senior Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Provost, AURAK.

One of the key takeaways of the Class of 2022 was the rising popularity of biotechnology – a field that creates breakthrough products and technologies for improved living — among the Emirati students. Out of 18 Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology graduates, 8 were Emiratis, and more than half of them were women.

In his welcome speech, Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President of AURAK, complimented the Class of 2022 on their endurance in pursuing their studies in the face of hurdles imposed by Covid-19 and stressed on the importance of education and educational entities that value quality.

“We, at American University of Ras Al Khaimah, are devoted to preparing our students for life-changing opportunities and pathways through the proven delivery of a successful, responsible, and high-quality educational model.  Within the UAE, AURAK the institution as well as each individual program, is accredited and licensed by the Ministry of Education’s Commission for Academic Accreditation.  Internationally, AURAK is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges, known as SACSCOC in the United States.  AURAK is also accredited by the United Kingdom’s highest accrediting body, the Quality Assurance Agency.

“I would like to highlight two of the programs AURAK has with Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  The first is the three plus two program which allows academically talented students to finish their first three years at AURAK and then transfer to Wayne State University for the next two years.  Additionally, AURAK is in the second year of participating in the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program, also with Wayne State University, which is sponsored by the US Embassy in the UAE.”

Delivering the Commencement Speaker’s address, US Consul General Meghan Gregonis, while complimenting the graduates, reminded them that their American-style education could open doors to any of the 1,500 US companies present in the UAE, which contribute to the $23 billion trade relationship that the US and the UAE share.

After hailing the partnership between AURAK and Wayne State University, she said: “US companies recognise the wealth of talent in the UAE and they’ve committed tremendous resources here. In fact, US companies have partnered across strategic industry sectors such as IT, telecommunications, space, healthcare, agriculture, renewable energy and many more. For sure, your American style education means that you have collaborated with your peers on joint projects. You’ve partnered with your professors to learn and grow and you have pursued excellence and you’re certainly adaptable.”

She urged them to embrace fields like artificial intelligence, autonomous transportation, metaverse, sustainable economy and climate change. “The United States and the United Arab Emirates are working closely together on climate. The US-UAE partnership for accelerating clean energy is a major new clean energy framework, which is set to catalyse $100 billion in financing, investment and other support and to deploy globally 100 gigawatts of clean energy by 2035 to advance the energy transition and maximise climate benefits.”

The Valedictorian Address was delivered by Marwah Mubarak Salem Sawahli. She said: “We have a very unique and exceptional group of students who are graduating today. We have been through so much together and have grown and changed together during two years of Covid. As we set our new goals, uncertainty will surely presents itself. But as graduates of AURAK, we will be able to face these challenges. The foundation we have built at AURAK will allow us to meet and exceed these goals. Find your purpose and take your place in shaping the New World.”

Bachelor, Master and Post-Graduate diploma degrees were conferred during the ceremony in Educational Leadership, Business Administration, Engineering Project Management, English Language, Mass Communication, Biotechnology, Accounting, Finance, HR Management, Marketing, Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Infrastructure Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics & Communications Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering.