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NYU to Open Campus in Abu Dhabi

October 12, 2007
N-102, 2007-08

Important Step in Transforming NYU into A “Global Network University”

First Comprehensive Liberal Arts Campus Abroad Developed by a Major U.S. Research University

NYU Abu Dhabi website: http://nyuad.nyu.edu/

Martin Lipton, Chair of NYU’s Board of Trustees; John Sexton, President of NYU; and His Excellency Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, today announced that they have reached an agreement to create “NYU Abu Dhabi,” a Middle Eastern campus of NYU. This will be the first comprehensive liberal arts campus established abroad by a major U.S. research university. It is projected that a first class of students will enroll in 2010.

Mariet Westermann, Ph.D., has been named a Vice Chancellor to lead the effort from NYU’s Washington Square Campus.

The development of “NYU Abu Dhabi” is a major step in the evolution of NYU as a “global network university” - a university with a teaching and research presence around the world through sites connected to the main campus in New York and to one another, drawing in scholars and students of talent from around the globe. NYU has one of the largest communities of international students and scholars in the U.S., and sends more students to study abroad than any other American university.

NYU Abu Dhabi will be a residential research university built with academic quality and practices consistent with the prevailing standards at NYU’s Washington Square campus, including adherence to its standards of academic freedom. The development of all the programs at the Abu Dhabi campus will be overseen by the New York-based faculty and senior administrators. The campus, created using programs and standards set by NYU, will include extensive classroom, library and information technology facilities, laboratories, academic buildings, dormitories, faculty and residential housing, student services, and athletic and performance facilities.

The Abu Dhabi Government has committed to provide land, funding, and financing for the development, construction, equipping, maintenance and operation of the NYU Abu Dhabi campus. It has also made a commitment to NYU that will enhance the University’s investment in faculty and programming, both of which are important in achieving world-class educational and research opportunities at NYU, NYU Abu Dhabi, and all of its network locations.

Dr. Sexton said, “This is an extraordinarily exciting and challenging opportunity. NYU was established 175 years ago as a university ‘in and of the city,’ and it will always remain firmly anchored in Washington Square, but as a foundation, not a limitation. In the 21st century, NYU must also be ‘in and of the world,’ a role for which our home, New York - that most international of cities - has well prepared us, and which we will fulfill through a network of our global sites for scholarship and education. It is in NYU’s institutional nature to be open to change and to see and grasp opportunities others would not. We have found just the right partners in Abu Dhabi. We found that we share important perspectives: a valuing of history, but a focus on the future; a belief that the evolving global dynamic will bring about the emergence of a set of world centers of intellectual, cultural, and educational strength; and a recognition that research universities will be key to these ‘idea capitals.’ This will be a great partnership, one we embrace with eagerness, but also with an understanding of the hard work to be done. We approach this moment with great intellectual excitement, but also with humility: NYU looks forward to coming to Abu Dhabi not just for the opportunity to educate young people and to embrace researchers and scholars in the region, but to be educated and changed in turn.”

Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Khaldoon Al Mubarak said, “NYU is renowned for having one of the most expansive and successful global programs in higher education. The partnership we have announced today will precipitate a legacy of opportunity for students and researchers from the around the world in years to come.”

Site selection and campus planning for NYU Abu Dhabi are under way. The new campus will draw students with top qualifications from around the world, particularly the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe. Ultimately, it is expected to have a student body upwards of 2,000. Students will be chosen based on their academic potential and qualifications as determined by NYU’s Office of Admissions, without regard to race, religion, sex, nationality, or sexual orientation. Financial aid support will be available, enabling a significant portion of students to attend without cost and ensuring that access to the NYUAD campus is not limited or denied to well-qualified students because of inadequate resources.

Classes will be conducted in English and will be co-educational. Academic offerings will include a range of undergraduate courses and majors comparable to that found at a typical U.S. university of its size. Appropriate graduate programs will also be offered. It is expected that a portion of the faculty will be NYU faculty on rotating assignment from Washington Square. Students enrolled in NYU Abu Dhabi will also be offered opportunities to spend a semester on the Washington Square campus and a semester in one of NYU’s other global sites.

To initiate academic activities in Abu Dhabi rapidly, next year NYU will establish the “NYU Abu Dhabi Institute” to host conferences, research workshops, short courses, and seminars involving scholars and students from NYU and the Middle East. These programs will promote academic and intellectual connections between NYU in Washington Square and NYU Abu Dhabi while the campus is being developed.

Internal consultation about the NYU Abu Dhabi project has been ongoing for more than a year. The appropriateness, feasibility, and suitability of the project was reviewed and discussed both formally and informally by many faculty members, including a Faculty Steering Committee with representatives of the Faculty Senators Council, a number of whom visited Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Westermann, who has served as Director of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts since 2002, said, “It is an honor to work on creating a first-rate liberal arts campus in this gateway region. This next step in the evolution of NYU’s global network will provide new opportunities for students to learn and lead, and offer our faculty new opportunities for research. I am grateful to have an outstanding team: Associate Vice Chancellor Hilary Ballon, General Counsel Cheryl Mills, and Senior Vice President Jeannemarie Smith.”

Dr. Sexton concluded, “I would like to thank the many people who worked so hard to bring this wonderful partnership about, including Cheryl Mills, Jeanne Marie Smith, Yaw Nyarko, and Robert Berne from NYU; Thomas Jackson, the president emeritus of the University of Rochester, whose guidance was indispensable; our valued advisor, Martin Edelman; Mariet Westermann, who is taking on this important assignment; and, most especially, our partners in Abu Dhabi.”


Editors’ Notes

About NYU
New York University is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Founded in 1831, it is one of America’s leading research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. Faculty, students, and alumni are among recipients of the Nobel prize, the Abel prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of the Arts, the Pulitzer prize, Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, and Truman Scholarships, among many other distinctions. It is one of the largest private universities, and through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

NYU is well known for having one of the most expansive and successful global programs in higher education. Its current global initiatives include:

  • NYU pursuing a partnership with the American University of Paris to establish a branch campus in Paris on the Ile Seguin
  • NYU currently has eight Study Abroad sites in Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • NYU sends more students to study abroad than any U.S. college and university; some one-third of NYU undergraduates now study abroad; the University hopes to increase that figure to 50 percent within a few years, and is currently developing new sites in Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires.
  • NYU has established joint degree programs, including a law degree program with the National University of Singapore, and the Trium MBA program between NYU’s Stern School, the London School of Economics, and the HEC Paris.

About Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi City is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the largest of the seven emirates. It is located on an island five miles wide and nine miles long. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi constitutes over 85 percent of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) total land area.

The Emirate has a cosmopolitan culture thanks to the population’s 70 percent mix of international residents from 120 countries. The Emirate has embarked on an ambitious program to develop its intellectual, cultural, and educational resources. It recently unveiled plans for a 670-acre cultural district as part of the Saadiyat Island development, which will feature major intellectual, cultural, and educational projects, including the establishment of a branch of the Louvre, the establishment of a branch of the Guggenheim museums, and a performing arts institute.

For further information about the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, visit AbuDhabi.ae.

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: John Beckman | (212) 998-6848


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