Zayed University

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Zayed University
Zayed University (logo).png
Motto"Your Success is our Legacy"
Established1998; 21 years ago (1998)
PresidentNoura Al Kaabi
Vice-presidentReyadh AlMehaideb

Zayed University (abbreviated ZU; Arabic: جامعة زايد‎) is a UAE university established in 1998. It is one of three government-sponsored higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates. Achieving accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the USA, it became the first federal university in the UAE to be internationally accredited,[1] it is named in honor of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country's first president.

ZU offers 17 majors and 10 minors at undergraduate level and 10 master's degree;[2] the University has eight colleges: College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, College of Business, College of Communication and Media Sciences, College of Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Technological Innovation, and University College.[2]


Zayed University was established in 1998 by the Emirati federal government; until 2008 the university was accepting only UAE national women, but after the opening of Sweihan campus, a collaboration between Zayed University and the UAE Armed Forces, approximately 200 male students were admitted.[3]

The university is currently engaged in cooperative relationships with a number of institutions throughout the world such as: Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Scotland, Australian National University, School of Business Management and Organization of the Foundation Antonio Genovesi Salerno in Italy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and Waseda University in Japan.[4]

In March 2019, Zayed University is ranked 22 out of 122 in the QS World University Arab Rankings.[5] In 2018, it featured for the first time in the QS World Rankings at 701-750.[6]


In 2008, Zayed University announced that it received accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[7] Zayed University announced it had received re-accreditation in 2013;[8] the University is one of only 16 overseas institutions accredited by the MSCHE, and one of only 4 in the Middle East.[9]

Programs within its College of Technological Innovation obtained accreditation through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the summer of 2012.[10]

Programs within its College of Business obtained accreditation through the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) accreditation in June 2013.[11]

Through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation Continuous Improvement Commission (CAEP),[12] in 2013 the College of Education received accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Zayed University College of Education is the first university, outside of the USA, to be internationally accredited.

Programs within its College of Communication and Media Sciences obtained accreditation through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) in May 2015.[13]

Programs within its College of Arts and Creative Enterprises were recognized as substantially equivalent through NASAD in July 2015. [14]

Outcomes-based academic program model[edit]

Zayed University has adopted an outcomes-based academic program model; the programs are outcomes-based and designed with reference to the Zayed University Learning Outcomes. These were designed by hired U.S. consultants as a means of developing the necessary outcomes to prepare students for the world.[15]

The major outcomes-based programs are housed the six academic outcomes-based colleges. Outcomes-based majors are based on Zayed University's learning outcomes; they are discipline specific, yet outcomes based![16]

Colleges and Academic Programs[edit]

University College[17][edit]

University College delivers a standardized interdisciplinary General Education Program to all undergraduate students during their first two semesters at Zayed University[18] and consists of four specialized departments that provide comprehensive support and instruction for students.[19]

College of Arts and Creative Enterprises[20][edit]

Undergraduate Programs[21]

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Animation Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Interior Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Visual Art
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Multimedia Design

College of Business[22][edit]

Undergraduate Programs[23]

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Finance
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Graduate Programs[24]

  • Executive Master of Business Administration[25]
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance[26]

College of Communication and Media Sciences[27][edit]

Undergraduate Programs[28]

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication and Media Sciences with Concentrations in:

  • Integrated Strategic Communications
  • Tourism and Cultural Communications
  • Media Production and Storytelling

Graduate Programs[29]

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication Concentrations in:

  • Tourism and Cultural Communication[30]
  • Strategic Public Relations[31]

College of Education[32][edit]

Undergraduate Program[33]

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.Ed.) in Education with Concentration in Early Childhood Education (PreK-Grade 3)

Graduate Program[34]

  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration[35]

College of Humanities and Social Sciences[36][edit]

Undergraduate Programs[37]

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Studies with Concentrations in:

  • International Relations
  • Middle East/Gulf Studies
  • Political Economy & Development

Graduate Programs

  • Masters in Diplomacy and International Affairs[38]
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Judicial Studies[39]

College of Natural and Health Sciences[40][edit]

Undergraduate Programs

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health and Nutrition[41]
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and Sustainability[42]
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology[43]

College of Technological Innovation[44][edit]

Undergraduate Programs[45]

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information Technology with Concentration in

  • Security and Network Technologies
  • Web and Mobile Application Development

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Information System and Technology Management with Concentration in

  • Management Information Systems
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Business Intelligence

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Technology Concentration in Cyber Security[46]

Student Services[edit]

Student Accessibility Services[edit]

The Zayed University Student Accessibility Services Department[47] provides support and equal education opportunities for students with diverse learning needs; the Department’s mission is to ensure that all students, regardless of ability, receive a first-class education and achieve their potential[48].

The Student Accessibility Services Department consists of three state-of-the-art centers:

  • Khalaf Al Habtoor Assistive Technology Resource Center, Dubai, established in 2012.[49][50]
  • Humaid Mater Al Tayer Assistive Technology Resource Center, Abu Dhabi, established in 2014.[51][52]
  • Abdul Wahid Al Rostamni Inclusive Learning Center, Dubai, established 2019.[53][54]

The Khalaf Al Habtoor and Humaid Mater Al Tayer Assistive Technology Resource Centers are equipped with the latest assistive technology devices to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities; the centers provide access to specialist resources and educational materials along with specialized training for students and faculty. The centers provide key curriculum resources in Braille and utilize the following assistive tools: Braille Sense Polaris, Braille Sense U2, Clear View Magnifier, Braille Printer Premier 80 to accommodate the needs of visually-impaired students.[55]

The Abdul Wahid Al Rostamni Inclusive Learning Center, inspired by Apple technology, offers an innovative space for students, faculty and staff which facilitates teaching, learning and research at the highest standards. Apple accessibility features and apps equip differently abled students with equal educational opportunities and the necessary skills to be independent learners[56].

Apple Distinguished School Recognition[edit]

In 2016, SAS received the Apple Distinguished School Award[57] for the use of Apple enhanced assistive technology to aid in the academic, social and vocational support of its students.


Zayed University’s two state-of-the-art libraries facilitate teaching, learning and research through the delivery of a wide variety of services[58]. An extensive and growing collection of digital and physical materials serves the needs of the university community and provides support for individual college curriculums[59].

Curriculum Resources Center[60][edit]

The Curriculum Resources Center houses educational materials to support students within the College of Education and facilitate teacher training[61].

Emirates Collection[edit]

The Zayed University Emirates Collection houses materials about the United Arab Emirates and books by Emiratis authors.[62]

The UAE Film Library and Archive[63][edit]

Established in 2013[64], The Film and Library Archive at Zayed University is the first of its kind in the region;[65] the collection will act as a repository for the UAE film industry, preserve works by Emirati filmmakers and include films produced about the UAE. The collection also includes materials associated with filmmaking including posters, scripts, artwork, production stills, and press kits.[66]

Archives and Records Management[67][edit]

The University Archives serves as the official repository for university records that are deemed to have “historical, administrative, academic legal, and/or fiscal value.”[68]

Zayed University Learning Commons[69][edit]

The Zayed University Learning Commons compliment university curriculums by providing comprehensive academic support services to enhance educational development; the LLC collaborates with colleges to provide support in academic writing, language, mathematics, and study skills.[70]

In 2011, the newly constructed Abu Dhabi Campus library was inaugurated housing 150,000 books from the collection. At 40,000 sqm, the library is one of the largest in the Middle East.[71]


Zayed University supports faculty and student research through research training programs, fellowships and grants.[72] In 2014, the university invested 4,687,269 AED in internal research funds.[73]

Grants and Fellowships[edit]

  • Research Incentive Funds (RIF)[74]

This competitive grant funds faculty research over a period of one to two years and was designed to support and enhance the research culture at Zayed University.[75] Researchers receive grants that range from a maximum of 30,000AED for individual one year projects to a maximum of 150,000AED for team grants.[76]

  • Provost's Research Fellowship Awards[77]

The Provost’s Office provides support to faculty in the process of completing a major scholarly project.[78] Six fellowships are granted per academic semester.[79]

  • Start-Up Grants for New Faculty[80]

This grants was designed to support newly hired faculty complete previously existing research projects or begin new research . Grants can range up to a maximum of 20,000AED for non-lab based projects and a maximum of 30,000AED for lab-based projects.[81]

  • Research Clusters[82]

A new initiative was established in 2016 to encourage cross-discipline collaboration among faculty.[83] A maximum of 50,000AED per project is allocated.[84]

Research Facilities: Laboratories[edit]

Zayed University emphasizes experiential learning and supports a dynamic research culture through the establishment of cutting-edge laboratories on both campuses.

College of Arts and Creative Enterprises[edit]
  • Fabrication Lab (3D Printing, Laser, prototype digital manufacturing)[85][86][87]
College of Business[edit]
College of Communication and Media Sciences[edit]
College of Natural and Health Sciences[edit]
  • Air Quality Lab[95]
  • Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory[96]
  • Cognition and Neuroscience Lab[97] * Microbiology Laboratory[98]
  • Environmental Simulation and Remote Sensing Lab[99]
  • Hydroponic Lab[100]
  • Hyperspectroscopy Lab[101]
  • Instrumentation Lab[102]
  • Marine Science Lab[103]
  • Nutrient Analysis Laboratory[104]
  • Organic Chemistry Lab[105]
College of Technological Innovation[edit]
  • Advance Cyber Forensics Research Lab[106][107]
  • Capstone Lab[108]
  • Cisco Regional Academy Lab[109]
  • Database Lab[110]
  • Digital Forensics Lab[111]
  • Enterprise Systems Lab[112]
  • Game Development Lab[113]
  • Graduate Lab[114]
  • Hardware Lab[115]
  • Human Computer Interaction Lab[116]
  • Information Security Lab[117]
  • Intelligent Remote Sensing and Tracking Lab[118]
  • Multimedia Lab[119]
  • Networking Lab[120]
  • Operating Systems Lab[121]
  • SMART Lab[122]

Undergraduate Research[edit]

The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program was launched in 2010 to encourage and support undergraduate student research;[123] the competitive program provides students with faculty mentorship, workshops and lectures over a two and a half year period[124] during the course of their studies. Students are expected to produce original research that is submitted to international academic journals at the end of the program.[125]

Abu Dhabi Campus[edit]

ZU Abu Dhabi Campus.jpeg

In 2009,[126] Zayed University announced plans for the construction of a new campus in Abu Dhabi[127] to meet the needs of a growing student population in the capital city;[128] the campus was designed by German architect, Hadi Teherani, and inspired by the desert environment in which it would be constructed[129] combining the modern and traditional to produce a striking complex with an iconic roof design. The campus was completed and operational in 2011; the new campus is located in located in Zayed City in Abu Dhabi and covers an area of 77 Hectares with a total built up area of 188,500sqm[130]. The university complex consists of 28 building and facilities include “a 1,000-person theatre, a convention center, 400 seminar rooms and a four story library with a tiered amphitheater design based on the US Library of Congress.[131]

Dubai Campus[edit]

ZU Dubai Campus.jpg

The Zayed University Dubai campus moved to its current location in Al Ruwayyah, near Academic City, Dubai back in 2006; the original campus was near the northern end of the Abu Dhabi peninsula, on Delma Street.[132]

Academic Performance[edit]

Management Office[edit]

In December 2010, the Federal National Council queried the competency of the university's senior management. According to The National, Zayed University was reported to owe over Dh33 million in unpaid water and electricity bills.[133]

According to The National, three people held the position of provost between April and June 2011, with a total of seven provosts between 1998 and 2011; this was confusing. [134]

In 2012, the effectiveness of its teacher education program was questioned. According to The National, none of the 110 teachers it produced between 2010 and 2012 were employed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC); ADEC allegedly claimed the university produced lazy and poorly skilled graduates.[135]

[136] Following His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Maitha Al Shamsi was instated as president in 2013.[137] Al Shamsi was followed by Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi, who was appointed president in 2014.[138]

As well as existing concerns over academic integrity, transparency, and plagiarism at Zayed University, concerns have been raised about the weak academic credentials and lack of international experience among the new management.[139]

Boosting Emiratisation[edit]

In August 2008, Emirati staff received a 28% pay award, whereas foreign faculty received a 5% pay award; the university would not comment on the case.[140]

In January 2011, The National reported that Zayed University staff would receive a 2% pay raise retroactive to August 2010.

Student high-quality academic programs[edit]

Zayed University’s mission from the very outset has been to provide high-quality academic programs and services that align with international standards and best practices.[141]

Respecting UAE Laws, Transparency and Accountability[edit]

The professor, Matt J. Duffy, expressed concern that his activities-—which included writing for Gulf News, launching a student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and teaching objectively about the U.A.E.'s media laws—-may have led to his dismissal.[142] Despite claiming to follow Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its MSCHE Self-Study ("Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"), the university would not comment on the case in public.[143]

Materials deemed to be offensive are removed from the University Library, or are deposited in a locked holding space called Special Collections. Students must obtain faculty approval in order to access these materials, which include books on nursing, art magazines, human sexuality, and books containing views critical of religion.[144]


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  132. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  133. ^ Kareem Shaheen (21 December 2010). "Debt worry over federal universities". The National.
  134. ^ "Zayed University provost back at helm amid confusion". The National. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  135. ^ Melanie Swan (18 April 2012). "Zayed University seeks dean to lead it into the future". The National.
  136. ^ Woody Evans. "Librarians Need Global Credentials". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  137. ^ "Longtime Emirati Education Minister Moves Aside". Al Fanar. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  138. ^ WAM 4 March 2014
  139. ^ "UAE higher education power shifts". Al-Fanar. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  140. ^ Daniel Bardsley (18 August 2008). "Meagre pay rise angers academics". The National.
  141. ^ "Zayed University's vision will remain 'firm and untouched'". The National. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  142. ^ "American Professor Suddenly Fired from Zayed University". Insider Higher Ed. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  143. ^ "Why was I fired from Zayed U.?". The Chronicle for Higher Education. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  144. ^ "ZU Library Infoasis". Retrieved 25 August 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°06′07″N 55°23′08″E / 25.102019°N 55.385599°E / 25.102019; 55.385599