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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

New leaders take the helm at UAE's federal universities

For the first time, three different people will be holding the top posts at UAE University, Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology.

ABU DHABI // New leaders of the three federal universities were appointed yesterday, replacing Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak, the new minister, was named chancellor of UAE University.

Dr Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State, becomes president of Zayed University – the first woman to reach such a high position at any university in the UAE, federal or private.

Mohammed Hassan Omran Al Shamsi, head of the board of directors of Etisalat, becomes chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology.

Sheikh Nahyan was moved last month from his education role to become Minister of Youth, Culture and Community Affairs. 

It is the first time the three posts have been held by different people.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the nation was grateful for the great efforts of Sheikh Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed lauded his efforts in establishing standards for university education, earning the country a prestigious academic reputation regionally and internationally. He also wished success to the new leaders.

Dr Farid Ohan, head of the Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology,  said it was too early to comment on the new chancellor, but joined Sheikh Mohammed in paying tribute to Sheikh Nahyan’s contribution and said his successors had a lot to live up to.

“He has single-handedly created and developed the higher education sector in the UAE over a period of more than 45 years,” Dr Ohan said.

“In all my years in education, I have not come across an educational leader who has the clarity of his vision, enlightened leadership, and high standards and expectations.

“It is my sincere hope that the new chancellors will seek and benefit from his counsel and wisdom. His is a very hard act to follow.”

mswan@thenational.ae