x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE University must raise more of its own funds, says Nahyan

Staff at the country’s oldest university were told on Wednesday that generating funding and boosting research capacity was top of the agenda.

AL AIN // Staff at the country’s oldest university have been told to find ways to increase revenue and boost research.

UAE University must “find funding sources beyond the normal government allocations to fund our expanded role in graduate studies and research, and to help in establishing distinguished professorships”, the chancellor, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, told its annual assembly.

Funding for the three federal universities has faced increasing cuts in recent years, but Sheikh Nahyan, who is also the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, suggested one way of dealing with this would be to cut power bills.

“Our current expenditures on electricity are too high,” he said. “We know that technologies and practices are available for reducing our energy consumption without a loss in the quality of our operations.”

Sheikh Nahyan also called for “solid improvements in undergraduate education”, and in postgraduate and doctoral studies.

“I expect the plans to focus on expanding the number of programmes, on developing organisational and financial systems, and building community support and generating adequate funding,” he said.

Sheikh Nahyan called for more research at undergraduate as well as postgraduate level, saying this was a key factor in the university’s strategic plan.

“We must provide undergraduate students with opportunities to conduct research under the supervision of their professors,” he said.

He added this would require “proper facilities and infrastructure”.

Dr Robert Villa, the chairman of social work at the university, said research was already a priority for undergraduate students in his department.

“All our students at undergraduate level take on research,” Dr Villa said. “We are always targeting the research component.”

mswan@thenational.ae