“As the UAE strives to position itself among the world’s leading innovative nations, we will continue to play an important role in bringing forward innovative ways to empower people and communities”, he said.
Addressing the guests, Mr Peter Robson AO, Chairman of the UOWD Board, paid special tributes to Dr James Langridge for his extraordinary contribution in spearheading the setting up of UOWD in the UAE.
It has been an illustrious journey for UOWD. The university began life in 1993 as the Institute for Australian Studies (lAS) in a commercial building, opposite Al Mulla Plaza, with a batch of eight students who enrolled to learn English. In 2000, the University became the first foreign tertiary institution in Dubai to receive its license from the UAE Ministry of Education - Higher Education Affairs and officially changed its name to the University of Wollongong in Dubai in 2003. Two years later, the University moved to Dubai Knowledge Park, the hub for educational activity in Dubai and in 2010 it became the first private university in Dubai to introduce doctoral programs – the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Today, a quarter of a century later, UOWD has more than 3,000 students and a strong alumni network of nearly 11,000 graduates.
Compered by Hermoine Macura, UOW Alumna, TV anchor and Founder of Straight Street Media, the gala dinner was the highlight of the University’s year-long celebrations, marking the institution’s 25th anniversary in Dubai as the oldest foreign university in the UAE.
Delivering the keynote address, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, Vice-Chancellor, UOW, commended the University for its outstanding achievements over the past 25 years and for the role it has been playing in the growth of the UAE.
“Central to UOWD’s outstanding growth is that it is continually developing new programs intrinsically linked to the development of the UAE. The University is in fact, growing with Dubai and is broadening its operations to fulfil in the expanding needs of Dubai,” said Wellings.
Speaking on behalf of the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, Ms Julie Shams, Chargé d'affaires, Australian Embassy in the UAE said that the University has been flying the flag for Australian Education in Dubai for 25 years and that the Australian Government is taking great pride in its achievements.
“The University truly understands the regional, local and global market in which it is operating and should also be commended for having developed links with the industry that has led to innovative research and collaboration with long-lasting and positive outcomes that will impact the society.”
A coffee table book chronicling UOWD’s journey of transformation was released on the occasion by Professor Mohamed Salem and Mr Peter Robson AO.
To mark the historic occasion, the University of Wollongong, Australia, presented UOWD with a pure silver bullion sculpture commissioned by artist Adrian Ward, which symbolises the written word’s journey of transformation, from papyrus to the digital age.
Distinguished guests attending the event included His Excellency Ian Halliday, Australian Consul-General Dubai and General Manager - Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Australian Trade and Investment Commission; Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor; Professor Alex Frino, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UOW; Mr Peter Robson AO, Chairman of the UOWD Board; Marisa Mastroianni, Group CEO and Managing Director, UOW Global Enterprises; Ms Julie Shams, Chargé d'affaires, Australian Embassy; Dr James Langridge, University Fellow and chief architect of UOWD and other members of the UOWD Board.
Ms Marisa Mastroianni, Group CEO and Managing Director of UOW Global Enterprises, concluded the event with the Vote of Thanks and presented the long serving members of staff, Talib Ahmed, Mohamed Abdul Rasheed, Manoj Mathew, Afij Mohamed and Colleen Symss, with a special token of appreciation for their loyalty and dedication.
Celebrating 25 years of Academic Excellence in the UAE!
The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE's oldest and most prestigious universities. Established in 1993 by the University of Wollongong in Australia - currently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world – UOW in Dubai represents a pioneering Australian initiative in the Gulf region. The University has more than 3,600 students and supports a network of more than 10,000 alumni.
Communications Executive, UOWD
T +971 04 278 1723 | E EtresiaWolmarans@uowdubai.ac.ae
Associate Manager, Marketing & Communications
T +971 04 278 1724
© Press Release 2018