The merger aims to consolidate the resources and infrastructure of Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Masdar Institute and the Petroleum Institute – three of the most respected academic institutions in the UAE and the Middle East. The merger reinforces the commitments of Abu Dhabi and the UAE to pursue the development of world-class research and human capital initiatives.
The UAE is undergoing strategic changes to work efficiently and effectively. This merger is a strategic way to capitalize on each of the three institutions’ achievements, to leverage the institutions’ shared resources, and to best position their academics, research and human capital globally with a shared commitment to excellence in research and scholarship.
What are the benefits for the country?
The new entity, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, offers opportunities to set new standards in education, research and scholarship that benefit Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the world at large. The three merging institutions individually have international reputations recognized by independent ranking organizations, influential scholarly publications, and academic communities. The merged university is building and broadening the impact of its constituents, with the goal of transforming the UAE and Abu Dhabi into a knowledge destination in science and technology.
What is the governance structure of the new university?
Khalifa University of Science and Technology is an independent entity with its own Board of Trustees that is accountable to the Government of Abu Dhabi for its charter.
What will happen to the existing campuses?
In the near term, the campuses will remain as they currently are. As part of the structure of the new university, there are some changes being made to the specific research and operational functions at each campus. The approach will ensure efficiency and effectiveness are being taken into consideration as these changes are implemented. Whether an individual lab or program will remain in its current location or be coordinated and consolidated with resources on a single campus is to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Will any programs close?
All program changes to the Fall 2017 term are intended to avoid duplication of offerings in the new university, so changes will be minimal and no programs will be eliminated. Current students will continue within the degree program in which they are enrolled, and they will graduate with a degree in that major. A further review of programs will be conducted in the long term to assess any broader program changes that may be required.
What will happen to the accreditation status?
All current accreditations will remain in force throughout the merger process. In cases where accrediting agencies require action due to the changes caused by the merger, every effort is being made to engage with those agencies to ensure a swift and seamless transfer of accreditation from the pre-existing institutions to the new university. Khalifa University of Science and Technology will be fully licensed within the UAE, and care will be taken to ensure that the legal standing and certification of degrees are of the same value as those of the three pre-existing institutions.
What will happen to the existing research centers for each university?
Khalifa University of Science and Technology is intended to be a research university that will contribute to the knowledge economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. All research labs, centers and research institutes will be assessed within the context of the new university’s organized research unit policy. Sponsored research centers are expected to continue to operate according to contractual agreements with sponsors, and other research programs are expected to grow to meet the ambitious research plans for the new university.
What is the benefit for partners?
Khalifa University of Science and Technology provides a larger talent pool of student and faculty to engage in research and partnership activities. The merged university also creates access to a wider array of facilities, including world-class researchers, equipment and labs.
What role will the new university play in community outreach?
As a science-focused university, we have an opportunity to help shape the scientific output of the country, not just through our own programs, but also through our community outreach. This will be an important task for the new university, and will build on the great work already done by each of the three institutions. As an example of the types of activities that will be prioritized by the new university: we will continue to work with secondary schools to raise the caliber of science and math education before the undergraduate level; we will consult on the standardized exams used in the country; and we will raise awareness of the positive power of STEM education among youth in our country and around the world.