Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives. (300 words maximum)
Al Qasimia University was established under a royal decree issued by HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, under the name of “Al Qasimia University".
The University includes an integrated set of services provided for supporting students out of the University's keenness on creating an attractive and prominent educational environment serving students from all over the world. All these services are totally free.
AQUpursues excellence in the field of academic, encourages innovation and excellence among its students, researchers and all employees, provides a competitive education with the best practices of Islam as a way of life throughout history. The University is constantly developing academic programs and research, raising the profile of the AQU community and highlighting the human values advocated by all religions in order to achieve the greatest consensus among all the peoples of the world.
Goals and Values
1. Raise the true profile of Islam as a way of life.
2. Prepare students in sciences of religion and traditional sciences, in a balanced manner, and train them to take advantage of Islamic sources of knowledge and scientific methodology.
3. Promote Arabic Language and strength its belonging, as it is the language of the Holy Quran.
4. Promote scientific methodology, graduate studies and specialized research in Islamic world affairs.
5. Prepare specialists and experts, promote the development of literature and the progress of sciences and art, and contribute to the development of the community, while preserving pure Arabic traditions and the rich Islamic cultural heritage.
6. Strengthen cultural and scientific ties with other universities and Arab, foreign and international authorities.
7. Provide a scientific framework for the development of understanding between adherents of various Islamic schools of thought and promote the values of dialogue between religions and cultures.
8. Develop a sense of belonging to the Islamic culture, an appreciation for its values, and an interest in learning about its heritage and achievements.
9. Promote literature, the arts and the advancement of science among Muslims and link these to Islamic foundations.
10. Build specialized capabilities and develop these in serving the community-at-large, in general, and the Islamic world, in particular.
It seeks to realize its mission through a set of core values that define its character and distinguish its strategic course. While the University is rooted in its Arab/Islamic traditions, at the same time, it considers the global dimension of its mission made manifest in its respect for others and various cultures and in serving all countries of the world. In addition, AQU community is committed to the social and moral scope of its activities and that which conforms to the teachings of Islam and high humanistic ideals.
Al Qasimia University promotes openness, diversity, justice, fairness and academic freedom
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category. (100 words maximum)
The university encompasses five scientific majors, including the Arabic language, Islamic law, the Holy Qur’an, economics, and media. studying these specializations by students (male and female) from all countries of the world after their graduation, they work in their countries in those specialties. Some of them work in banks, companies, the media and religious institutions and public education schools. Thus, they participate in the development of various sectors in their countries. Thus, they spread out the moderate teachings of Islam that combat terrorism, racial discrimination and discrimination against women, the principles of justice, tolerance and peace. This is evident in the university’s objectives. The university also provides to those countries financial expenditures that it would have spent on its children in the various stages of education, thus directing these funds for development purposes in those countries, especially poor countries.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation. (200 words maximum)
1) The university provides free comprehensive health insurance for all students, including medical examination and dispensing of drugs, thus contributing to confirming goals 3.7 and 3.8
2) Students of all nationalities study at the university in five different specializations of both sexes, males and females, thus achieving goal 3.d. These students also study using the latest technological methods and are trained to use modern technology, thus achieving goal 4.3.
3) The university graduate’s students in the five majors who work after their graduation in those majors in their countries (1300 students every year) and thus we achieve goals No. 4.4 and 4.5.
4) The University teaches both Arabic and English Languages Center, thus achieving goal 4.6, 4.7.
5) The number of students admitted to the university is increasing year by year, thus achieving goal 4.b
6)The university offers a program in the College of Arts to graduate teachers who work after their graduation in their own countries, thus contributing to the achievement of Goal 4.c. These male and female students treat the same and study moderate Islam that does not differentiate between men and women, thus achieving the goal 5. 3.. The university also provides students with free housing, transportation, water and electricity thus achieving the goals 5.5 and 6.1
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms. (100 words maximum)
The university continues to accept students every year, and the number of students increases year by year, and their number has so far reached more than 8,000 students. The university’s mission and vision supports that. Socially, the students’ level increases by holding jobs after their graduation. Economically, the students after their graduating work in different sectors in their countries, so they take part in the economic development. Environmentally, they live in an excellent campus and they are affected by the healthy environment there. The budget of the university is funded by the Emirate government.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
The students at the faculty of Economics and Administration study many courses such as: Principles of Public Administration, Managerial Economics, New Economics and Graduation Project. Through this study, students acquire the concepts of organization and procedures that govern the activity of employees and workers in different sectors as well as the organizational structure that defines the responsibility of each individual. They also practice these concepts during the activates and visiting institutions which apply these concepts. When they return back to their countries, they actively contribute to implementation of these concepts during their work in different institutions, which greatly contributes to addressing the initiative to the great deficiency in governance, public administration and public service in many developed countries.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
Students inside the university deal with arduous equality between the sexes (male and female). Everyone earns the same salary, eats the same food, studies in the same college, lives in the same housing and uses the same means of transportation. They also study subjects of the tolerant Islamic religion, which prohibits discrimination between the sexes. In addition, the university attracts students of both genders from all parts of the world, so that different cultures converge, benefit each other, and feel brotherhood, equality and justice. The university also works to highlight the human values advocated by all religions to achieve the greatest degree of harmony among all peoples without distinguishing between sex, gender and religion.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
The university attracts the best types of students of both sexes from all over the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and now more than 80 nationalities study there. Upon joining the educational programs, students join the Language Center to learn both languages: Arabic and English, which are the two languages of study in the colleges. The university continuously develops those academic and research programs in line with the continuous expansion of the boundaries of knowledge, thus enabling students to create intellectual creativity and constructive critical analysis. This is in addition to enhancing the spirit of cooperation to understand global perspectives and cultural pluralism.
The university also provides, through its programs, to prepare distinguished leaders at a high level of health. It also provides intellectual grammar to all faculty members, conducts research and scientific studies, and provides advice to decision-makers.
This is in addition to developing cooperation and keenness to know the secrets of the graduates. This is also done through various student activities, competitions, scientific trips, and field training for students.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
An environmentally friendly campus is being constructed, built with the latest systems according to the highest standards. It contains an integrated set of services that it provides to support students, in order to create an attractive and distinct educational environment that serves all students. It also contains college buildings, university housing, and housing for faculty members in colleges. Each college has 34 classrooms, 24 offices for faculty members, office of the dean and assistant dean.
The administration building, includes the offices of the university president, his deputies and his assistants. It also includes 80 offices for the administrative staff in all university departments, and a group of study halls for the Language Center of 24 classrooms and computer laboratories, self-education centers, meeting rooms, and the university studio, And service facilities such as food court, lounge, and stationery stores. As for the monitoring activities, they are represented in the powers granted to the council of deans, the board of trustees that was formed, in addition to the bylaw that organizes work and responsibilities.
There is a student regulation that specifies the duties and rights of students and the procedural rules for obtaining a scholarship. There is also bylaw for faculty members that defines their rights and duties, as well as a list of examinations, their dates, student activities, and others.
The university's colleges have also been granted academic accreditation from the competent authorities for academic accreditation and quality. As for the timeline, it is determined by the university calendar that is set by the Council of Deans and the Board of Trustees, which determines the dates of studies, examinations, vacations, activities, and etc.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
There are obstacles facing the initiative, including: The progress of a large number of students of a specific nationality and a small number of other nationalities, and they were overcome by specifying a specific number for each nationality according to the student’s GPA in the high school certificate. Another obstacle isthe cultural difference between students and the different customs and traditions, and all of this has been melted down in one agreement that calls for tolerance and brotherhood through student activities and educational program.
Increasing the number of males than the number of females, and it treated by encourage females to
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
Universities in the United Arab Emirates and the Arab region in general depend on granting a number of scholarships to foreign students to study with their colleagues from the same country. This initiative is unique in allocating an entire university for students and faculty members, and the first among them and their impact.
It is also unique in that it is completely free, in addition to paying monthly salaries and tickets for students. It also hosts their parents to attend the graduation ceremony.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
There are initiatives in the Arab region, such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt, and the experience of attracting students from East Asian countries. There is also the experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Islamic University of Madinah. But Al-Qasimia University initiative is unique in that it is completely free, and even gives students monthly salaries. It also hosts their guardians to attend graduation parties and takes care of their livelihood and accommodation, and even gives them money to buy gifts for themselves.
In addition, the AQU will start programs in Master degree for it's students.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how these were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The initiative uses emerging and frontier technologies by electronically registering and admitting students. Also, all registration, withdrawal and addition procedures, absence and attendance warnings, short exams, mid-term exams, final exams and handing over assignments are made electronically, especially after the Coronavirus pandemic.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
Yes, In the future, the university plans to open other branches in some cities in the UAE and abroad, such as the city of Khorfakkan, to accommodate an additional number of students. AQU university has also concluded cooperation agreements with similar universities such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the Islamic University of Madinah, the University of Archaeological Sciences in Pakistan, Prince Sutkla University in Thailand. In addition, The University concluding cooperation agreements with regional and international organizations such as the Zayed Foundation for Charitable Activities, the Islamic Educational for Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Educational Office for the Arabic Language for the Arab Gulf States.
Also, there are agreement with some national and internationals organizations such University of the Center for Sunni Culture, Calcutta-Kira India, College of Islamic and Arabic Studies in Dubai, Sharjah Media Corporation and Emirates Creative Association
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
The transferability here is represented in the exchange of scientific expertise and scientific research with those universities and institutions. It also includes the possibility of sending those institutions and universities some of their students to study at Al Qasimia University. In addition to exchanging experiences with faculty members from both sides and holding joint seminars and conferences on topics of interest to both sides.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
The financial resources that were used to implement the initiative are the annual budget that the Sharjah government allocates to AQU . This budget is determined on the basis of the needs requested by the university administration. This budget is determined on the basis of the needs requested by the university administration. It includes faculty members ’salaries, students’ salaries, administrators ’salaries, workers’ salaries, the cost of food and , transportation, water, electricity, travel tickets for students and staff members, textbooks and other teaching, and construction and buildings.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
What makes the initiative financially and institutionally sustainable over time is the annual budget allocated to it by the Sharjah government. The university is affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the university president is His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of Rulers and Ruler of Sharjah
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
A team of judges from the National Authority for Quality and Accreditation evaluated the initiative. The outcomes of the judges indicated the efficiency of the initiative, and the five university colleges approved. We also referred to standard universities in the region such as Al Azhar University, Cairo and Islamic University in Al Madinah. In addition, we referred to the performance indictors which is included in AQU strategy plan.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used. (100 words maximum)
The new licensing and accreditation standards are based on 11 aspects of the academic and administrative aspects of higher education institutions. It includes governance and management, quality assurance, scientific and research activities, students, faculty, educational facilities, health, safety and environment, legal compliance and public disclosure, educational resources, and the physical capabilities of educational institutions and their viability. In addition to community service and integrity. The indicator is related to students, graduates, faculty staff and administrators, teaching and quality assurance, a academic accreditation and scientific research and community services.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how is this information being used to inform the initiative’s implementation? (200 words maximum)
The new licensing and accreditation standards are based on 11 aspects of the academic and administrative aspects of higher education institutions, including governance and management, quality assurance, scientific and research activities, students, faculty, educational facilities, health, safety and environment, legal compliance and public disclosure, educational resources.
The findings are:
1- Increasing the number of admitted students.
2- Increasing of nationalities (80 nationalities)
3- Giving priority in addition to new nationalities.
4- Increasing number of graduates.
5-63% of graduates obtained excellent and honors degree.
6-The number of students in staff member is 26.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how is it situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how have these institutional relationships been operating). (200 words maximum)
The initiative is a governmental body affiliated with the government of Sharjah. It is supervised by the Ministry of Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates. so, it follows all decisions issued by the Ministry of Higher Education. In addition, there is mutual cooperation between the initiative and governmental institutions in the country, such as the Holy Quran Foundation, the Sharjah Police General Administration, Sharjah Media Corporation, and other institutions.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
Because the initiative serves all students of all nationalities, all countries are represented in their embassies in the UAE are stakeholders. And cooperation with them is done in attracting the best students in their countries. The owner of the idea and the merit in designing and implementing the initiative is His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University. A board of trustees has been established for the initiative to oversee the implementation and evaluation of the initiative. The Board of Trustees meets periodically to monitor the implementation and evaluation of the initiative.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
There are many lessons learned from the initiative. the most important lessons are the following:
1- Cooperating with and serving the countries of the world creates an atmosphere of tolerance and brotherhood between nations.
2- Respect for cultural pluralism and the customs and traditions of different peoples leads to increase opportunities for tolerance and peace.
3- Exchanging experiences and integrating with different cultures leads to increased opportunities for sustainable development in the world and also leads to the exchange of experiences and benefit from others' experiences.
As for the organization’s planning to improve the initiative, it is as follows:
1-Planning to open branches of the university inside and outside the United Arab Emirates to increase the number of students and benefit others from the experience.
2-Opening a postgraduate program at the master and doctoral levels in the disciplines offered by the university.