x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

What liberal arts offer

Education is a cornerstone of the UAE's aim to become a knowledge-based economy within two decades.

Dozens of foreign universities offer courses and degrees in the UAE, presenting students with a wide selection of academic choices. Among them all, however, few can rival the profile of New York University - Abu Dhabi, whose first intake of students will begin their final undergraduate year in September, as The National reported yesterday.

NYU-AD, like the Abu Dhabi campus of France's prestigious Paris-Sorbonne, offers a liberal arts curriculum that has attracted students from all over the world. A crowded calendar of public events, including talks by academic experts and public figures, has further raised its profile.

Like the Sorbonne, NYU-AD is not large - each school is planned for 2,000 students but neither is there yet - but it will soon be well-housed. While Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is already established on Reem Island, NYU-AD is to move to Saadiyat next year.

The emphasis on liberal arts adds a significant hue to the UAE's educational spectrum. Education itself is a cornerstone of the country's aim to become a knowledge-based economy within two decades and to make the nation a global magnet for students. NYU-AD and the Sorbonne form significant parts of the foundations that will help realise that ambition.