The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), ranked as one of the top ten UAE universities by the Quacquarelli Symonds agency (QS), is poised to build on its strong reputation for quality by expanding its program offerings.
As universities return to the ‘new normal’, AURAK is planning to introduce four new cutting-edge academic programs. These comprise a Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, a Master of Science in Infrastructure Engineering, and a Master of Science in Sustainable and Renewable Energy.
“We’re bringing out new and innovative programs that are speaking to the future, particularly with artificial intelligence and data science. We’re looking to the future workplace – what that might look like and what the jobs of the future are going to be – and we’re meeting those needs,” said Ms. Amanda Forte, Chief Strategy and Excellence Officer at AURAK. Moreover, all nine of AURAK’s engineering programs are accredited by the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the School of Business is pursuing accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The University and its programs have an impressive list of accreditations from local and international bodies, which guarantee that its programs meet the highest standards and that they benefit students. Despite its successes, AURAK is not resting on its laurels. “AURAK is always seeking to validate the quality of provision and of the institution,” Ms. Forte said. As an example, AURAK is currently working with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in the UK to undertake an International Quality Review. In addition, AURAK has asked QS to carry out an evaluation against the QS Stars criteria.
Like other institutions in the UAE, AURAK is licensed by the UAE’s Ministry of Education (MoE), which also accredits all the University’s programs. However, unlike the other UAE universities, AURAK is one of only two accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in the United States. AURAK is rightly proud of this achievement as SACSCOC has one of the most challenging institutional accreditation systems open to universities.
When talking about SACSCOC accreditation, AURAK’s President, Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, emphasized the benefits for AURAK students by pointing out
that “SACSCOC accreditation opens up a wealth of opportunities for our students abroad, especially in the United States, whose universities still lead the world.” It is clear that AURAK’s international partnerships are a gateway to a successful future providing students with an array of opportunities to spend a summer session, semester or year abroad with AURAK’s partner institutions in places such as the United States, France, Canada, Spain, Malaysia, Germany, The Netherlands, and South Korea.
Similarly, AURAK has negotiated 3+2 arrangements with partner institutions in the United States so that AURAK students can study their first three years at AURAK and complete their final years for their bachelor’s and master’s abroad – cutting the normal total time for the master’s by one year.
AURAK offers life-changing education with a global reach and is completely focused on student achievement and career opportunities. Not only does the University provide a North American-style, undergraduate, and graduate educational experience, with a strong focus on the local indigenous culture; an AURAK education also challenges students and makes them feel a sense of achievement after graduating. The University continues to develop the range of education it offers so that its students can fast track their careers.
AURAK is a not-for-profit, public university, 100% owned by the government of Ras Al Khaimah, guaranteeing a secure and stable future for students.
AURAK’s international ranking also demonstrates the quality of the education and experience it offers. According to the World University Rankings – Arab World 2020 report released by the UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds agency, AURAK has reached the Top 50 in the Arab world and tenth in the United Arab Emirates. AURAK is not content with the status quo and in striving continuously to improve the quality of education within the University and the UAE, AURAK is an active member of the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), the Association of ARAB Universities and the Hanseatic League of Universities.