120 students receive undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, including university's first City Science and Corporate Happiness graduates
Dubai-UAE: 03 June, 2017: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, participated in the graduation ceremony of the sixth batch of students from the Dubai Silicon Oasis based Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai (RIT Dubai). A total of 120 graduates from eight bachelor degree programs and five Master's programs received their certificates at the ceremony that was held at the InterContinental Dubai - Festival City.
Applauding the efforts of educational institutions across the UAE for delivering exceptional programs and interactive curricula, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said these institutions play a vital role in graduating a generation of highly qualified individuals that demonstrate a significant level of preparedness in meeting workplace challenges and demands.
He added: “The sustained efforts of institutions such as RIT Dubai strengthen their position as leaders in shaping the educational landscape of the UAE. Their commitment to exchanging knowledge and expertise with one another with the wider goal of building a comprehensive and up-to-date curriculum, as well as partnering with private and public sector organizations locally and regionally to cater to market demands, gives their graduating classes a head-start in the workplace. We share in their celebration of the success of their students and pray that these empowered youngsters will go on to achieve significant milestones in their life and career.”
Official guests of honor included Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General at Smart Dubai Office, Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the RIT Board of Directors, Dr William Destler, President of RIT New York, Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT-Dubai, as well as several prominent officials from the nation's education sector.
Addressing the audience of the commencement, Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the establishment of a new campus for the institute at Dubai Silicon Oasis, at a total cost of AED180 million. The initial project design has been finalized and construction will begin in September 2017, with phase one set for completion in 2019. He expressed his pride at the close synergies shared between RIT Dubai and DSOA, and commended the educational institution for its deep-rooted technical knowledge that could significantly add value for students and organizations in the UAE.
For his part, Dr Mohammed Alzarooni said: “Since the establishment of RIT-Dubai, in partnership with RIT New York, we have worked round-the-clock to provide the required and appropriate support to the university on all fronts. We are delighted to see the strides made to date, which include the graduation of its sixth cohort of students across several technical fields in line with the demands of the local job market. We are also proud to witness the graduation of the first batch of Master of Science in Professional Studies: City Science students, a first-of-its-kind degree in the MENA region. In line with our wise leadership's vision to transform Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world, we also sponsored the studies of 13 employees for this program from various entities within the Government of Dubai.”
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr said: “We are proud of RIT Dubai's graduating class of 2017. The students offer us a glimpse of the bright future of the UAE, and represent our country's unwavering commitment to diversity, education, and innovation that are hallmarks of the UAE community.”
She added: “Attracting international talent and students to Dubai and the UAE are cornerstones of our country's long-term vision, and we will continue to support and guide these graduates in their future careers and endeavors.”
Welcoming the participants, Dr William Destler, underlined the pride and joy of the institute, its faculty, and the graduating class for the support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He also expressed his gratitude to the UAE leadership for their emphasis on education and learning in the country, and for the priority accorded to the younger generation that is reflected in the support provided to academic institutions in the country. He pointed out that only through leveraging this support, are schools and universities within the country able to qualify a new generation of individuals and elevate the UAE's status as an educational hub of caliber on a regional and international level.
For his part, Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, said: “RIT Dubai aligns its educational offering with the innovative vision of Dubai and the wider UAE. We deeply appreciate the support we have received from Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Smart Dubai Office, the UAE Ministry of Education, and several other prominent stakeholders in launching our latest programs. The graduation of our first cohort of students from two academic programs today is indeed a proud moment for everyone involved. We congratulate all the new graduates and wish them the very best in their future journeys.”
The occasion marked two landmark achievements for the university, the conferring of degrees for the institutions' first cohort of the pioneering Master of Smart City Science., a first-of-its-kind degree in the MENA region, developed in association with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to help planners design and build smart, efficient, sustainable, and community-based cities. The university also graduated the first batch of Bachelor of Science in Computer Security students,
Furthermore, 26 Emiratis were also honored for completing the university's Corporate Happiness Diploma, a ground-breaking program run in conjunction with the emirate's Smart Dubai Office and international performance management consulting company, Gallup. The rubric was developed to help meet and support the Happiness Agenda launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, earlier this year.
Expressing their deep pride in the support of the wise leadership of the UAE for science and education, the graduates said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has always been a role model and a major source of inspiration for them.