The Business Year

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The Emirate's leading universities are training the next generation of strategists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs with custom-made programs that hone their critical outlook and prepare them for the world.

Eric Fouache

Vice Chancellor, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is standalone for several reasons. First, while the common perception is that we are privately funded, this is not the case. We are a government-funded university, though the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi does have complete autonomy over the management of its degrees in accordance with UAE law. Second, while there are approximately 90 foreign universities in the country, 70 of these are American. We remain the only French university, as well as the only one that delivers a degree from Paris, not locally. We are not a branch, nor do we export the name of our university; rather, we operate the university under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. We are proud to participate in diverse international ecosystem of UAE’s education, especially when the country plays a leading role internationally not only in the sphere of business, but also diplomacy. We are now at 1,600 graduates, of whom 30% are Emiratis, but we also welcome students from around the world.

Miguel Lobo

Director Middle East, INSEAD

INSEAD’s programs can be divided in two: degree programs, such as the MBA, and executive education. Within our degree programs we offer a full-time MBA and an executive MBA. The average age of full-time MBA students is 28 years old, and for executive MBA participants it is 39. The executive MBA program is geared toward those already at a high level of responsibility. When it comes to executive education, there are two types. We have company-specific programs, where the client is an organization and we design a customized program based on their needs. We cover the full spectrum of what an organization might need in terms of internal development. The other type of executive education consists of open enrollment programs, in which the client is not a company but an individual participant. Participants are often sponsored by their company as part of their professional development. In open-enrollment programs we impose a diverse criteria by industry type, geography, and other factors, to generate a plurality of voices in every class.

Dr. Abdullah Abonamah

President & Provost, Dr. Abdullah Abonamah

ADSM was launched with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in alignment with Vision 2030. In addition to having premier education and infrastructure, another of the pillars of Vision 2030 is to have a healthy and robust private sector. Entrepreneurship is the engine that fuels the private sector, and from the outset our strategy was to come up with an educational institution that would promote and help people understand the elements of entrepreneurship and develop their skills to become better entrepreneurs. We focused firstly on graduate education because there are already many undergraduate universities and colleges in Abu Dhabi that are doing a great job. Our idea was to add value rather than compete. Thus, we launched a successful MBA program, and added a master’s of science in quality and business excellence and a master’s of science in leadership and organizational development. In Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE, we want not just excellent leaders, but to develop the capacity of organizations, as well as business quality and excellence.



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