During his inauguration speech, Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, welcomed the attendees starting with Dr. Obaid Al Muhairi, Chair of the Board of Trustees' Academic Committee; Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Private School Authority and Board member; Ms. Sally Jeffrey, Leader of Global Education & Skills Network at PwC Middle East. The Chancellor explained the significance of the strategic plan for the upcoming five years, which was tailored to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University.
He also talked about the pillars of this strategy, which include: teaching and learning, scientific research, industry and community, innovation, student university life, and the University's faculty and staff members family. The Chancellor stressed that this plans works to achieve the UAE's national vision through the establishment of scientific institutions such as the Sharjah Oasis for Technology and Innovation; the College of Computing and Informatics; and the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology. All of which enrich the teaching and learning as well as scientific research environment, and support the field of artificial intelligence, smart applications, innovation, and entrepreneurship in all disciplines.
Dr. Hussein El Mahdi, Dean of the Academic Support Services, also talked about the focus on students' university life and experience through developing and improving the facilities that serve the students such as the residences, libraries, and extracurricular areas. He also addressed the University's attention to increasing support to students with disabilities, changing the campus to a smart campus, and unifying the information technology services to students, faculty and staff members. This in addition to increasing the academic services available to serve the teaching and learning process.
Prof. Elsiddig Ahmed ElMustafa El Sheikh, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, addressed the teaching and learning pillar of the strategy and the most important steps the University will undertake over the next five years to improve the teaching and learning environment. This it will achieve by integrating scientific research into the educational process, using modern teaching methods and technologies centered on creativity and innovation, and the development of faculty members to keep pace with these modern methods to create an interactive learning environment in the classroom.
Also on the topic of teaching and learning, Prof. Qutayba Hamid Al Heialy, Vice Chancellor for Medical Colleges and Health Sciences and Dean of College of Medicine, presented the goals of the strategic plans in relation to the University's Medical Campus and its improvement through incorporating smart testing methods, changing the enrollment strategy into the Medical Colleges in accordance with international standards. This with the aim of graduating qualified medical practitioners who will serve their communities.
On the other hand, Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, addressed the focus on scientific research, and stressed that the five-year strategic plan gives priority to the development and equipping of scientific research facilities on continuous basis. The University also, he continued, is focusing on supporting research initiatives and increasing the scientific output in the disciplines that serve the community and fall in line with the UAE's national vision. They are also focusing on transforming research outputs into concrete projects and products as well as supporting researchers and involving students in the research process.
Dr. Salah Taher, Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, tackled the focus on industry and community and stressed the importance of cooperation between the University, the industry, and the community. This strategic plan, he added, works to find effective partnerships with national, regional and international entities to support research initiatives that contribute to the community.
Mr. William Matt Easdown, Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Financial Affairs, discussed the pillar of the University's family of faculty, staff and technical members, as well as the strategic plan's effort to improve the working environment through ensuring their satisfaction and self-development and improving the services provided to them and internal communication between University family members.
At the end of the meeting, the Chancellor honored the keynote speaker Ms. Sally Jeffrey and Prof. Ahmed Al Shamma, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Sharjah.