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Campus News : July 2011
6 Campus News July 2011 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has been operating since 1993 and is now one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United Arab Emirates. UOWD currently has an enrolment of approximately 3500 students undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Business, Finance and Computer Science at its location in Dubai's Knowledge Village. Postcard from Dubai Reflections on 3 years at UOWD Professor Rob Whelan's three-year term as UOWD President ends in August. In this Postcard from Dubai, Professor Whelan reflects on his time in the United Arab Emirates: RESEARCH: One important focus of my time at UOWD has been enhancing research activity, especially research that is relevant to the needs of the UAE. The new DBA and PhD degrees, started at the end of 2010, are integral to achieving that goal, and the direct support of the Minister for Higher Education, Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak al Nahayan, was instrumental in our success. As a result of the encouragement of research across the University, we have increased the research output of UOWD from 30 HERDC classified publications among 14 staff in 2008, to 46 publications among 31 staff in 2009, to 59 publications among 35 staff last year. There will be even more in 2011. NEW COURSES: In parallel with deepening the University's offerings by adding the doctoral degrees, I have also worked to broaden the range of disciplines we offer. We have developed an undergraduate Engineering program (Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering), and Masters programs in International Studies and in Media and Communications. These are all in the final stages of accreditation for launching in September 2011. NEW STRUCTURE: This broadening required a restructuring of the academic side of the University, to develop a faculty structure. This was initiated in 2009, with the creation of Faculties of Finance & Accounting, Business & Management, and Computer Science & Engineering. A new Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences is about to be added. The new structure is now working well, with new Deans appointed and also Academic Program Directors for each course. LONG-TERM SUCCESS: UOWD's long-term success hasn't been accidental, or easy. It can be attributed to the following: • Early growth was modest, consistent and sustainable, which allowed the University to develop a name for being committed to the UAE and being a "stayer". • Related to this, the University's longevity -- 18 years UOWD celebrated a milestone with its 5000th graduate at the recent Spring Graduation Ceremony. Dubai's Department of Information Director-General Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum and Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Doug Trappett were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony, where 364 undergraduate and postgraduate students received their degrees. Delivering his welcome address, UOWD President Professor Rob Whelan said UOWD was proud to be committed to the national goals of the UAE and to play a leading role in the education of the country's human capital. "When UOWD was established 18 years ago we were convinced of the prosperous future of the UAE. Today, this belief is even stronger and we are proud to be committed to the goals of the UAE and especially of Dubai. With today's ceremony, UOWD has reached a new milestone of having produced 5000 graduates," Professor Whelan said. CN in 2011 -- is in itself a key success factor, along with a perception that we have done it without handouts or special treatment. • Until 2004 (when we moved to Knowledge Village), the prominent location of the campus on Jumeirah Beach Road-- near what is still called Wollongong Beach -- was clearly an important factor in highlighting the UOWD brand. • Close connection and interaction with UOW Australia has given UOWD access to international quality curricula, advice and quality assurance. The fact that students can move from UOWD to UOW (Australia) at any stage through their degree and take out a UOW qualification is a strong "value proposition". • UOWD staff have fostered close relationships with industry and government agencies through consulting and applied research activities, as well as involving external experts in the teaching programs through guest lectures, internships and case study projects. • Above all, the most important contributor to our success is the quality and commitment of our staff. They are fiercely loyal to UOWD, prepared to work above and beyond the call of duty, and determined to help the University succeed. UOWD'S FUTURE: UOWD's reputation, longevity, research-active staff and the doctoral programs position it UOWD president Professor Rob Whelan (left) and Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Doug Trappett congratulate Kristine Tara Fuentes on her Bachelor of Business Administration (with Distinction) at the Spring Graduation Ceremony in Dubai. Graduate numbers pass 5000 Continued on page 7.