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Kipp pits two of the UAE’s American universities against each other.

American University of Sharjah (AUS)


Founded in 1997 by Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and ruler of Sharjah, AUS is a not-for-profit organization. According to the university’s website, AUS’s curriculums are based on American curriculums, but are also influenced by Arab culture.

It’s only been around for 12 years, it’s too young to have a history. Score: 2.

Mission statement

The following the is university’s mission statement:

1. Science and education must regain their rightful place in the advancement of our society and in shaping the lives of our children.

2. The purpose of higher education is to reshape the minds of our youth in order for them to address personal and social challenges using the scientific method.

3. AUS must be a center of research for solving the problems faced by society.

4. AUS will have the autonomy and freedom needed to flourish as an independent university.

5. AUS must be organically linked with the economic, cultural and industrial sectors of society in productive cooperation.

Very admirable. And since there’s no talk of ‘vision’ or the university being ‘iconic’, we approve. Score: 9

Academic offerings

AUS offers 21 bachelor’s degrees, 41 minors and 13 master’s degrees. That may not seem like much to those who have studied abroad, but for the UAE it’s a wealth of offerings. Score: 8


Tuition fees for the 2009-2010 academic year is AED36, 610 per semester, or AED73, 220 per year. Considering that tuition fees at the University of Cambridge start from AED53,035, we feel AUS’s feel are astronomical. Score: 1

Student life

We haven’t visited AUS’s campus long enough to know what student life is really like, but if the university’s website is anything to go by, it can be stifled by AUS’s moral codes. There’s even a Judicial Affairs department that educates students on the university’s moral code (and a form on the website called Certificate of Good Moral Character). If they break it, they can face serious consequences. It sounds a bit harsh to us. Score: 1

Final score: 21



  1. Lianne on February 11, 2009 8:57 am

    The true mettle of a teacher (or an educational institution) is measured by the quality of the student.

    How about comparing the type of alumni these universities produce? Anybody significant to world history (considering the exorbitant fees rival those of Ivy League schools) or even the region?

  2. Rabbit on February 11, 2009 9:19 am

    I have been to both and i can tell you AUD is better by Faaaar, there is no room for comparison at all,

    they are even more proffessional and have a 10 times better environment than AUS, and they are more flexible in terms of Admissions and housing,

    AUD even has a better sports departement withj stronger temas than AUS accross all sports,

    AUD has also recently launched a new complex that will include 12 restaurants, a Barber shop, 2 cafe’s, super market, and an indoor court for all sorts of sports.

    So to my oppinion AUD wins

  3. John on February 11, 2009 10:23 am

    As an employer, I have been impressed by the calibre and work ethic of AUS graduates. AUD in contrast, gives the impression of being more of a party place, with rigorous academic study coming in second place.

    Overall, of course, neither comes close to the top regional universities like AUB in Beirut, AUC in Cairo or Sharif in Tehran, let alone those in Europe or the US. However, given a choice between the two, we would pick AUS graduates over AUD.

    I suspect this view is shared by other employers, considering that the AUS annual career day attracts many more companies than the comparable event hosted by AUD.

  4. TooMi on February 13, 2009 1:12 pm

    I’ll just say one thing about the students…
    Students in AUD are much more educational than the students at AUS. As a student, I’ve had the opportunity to meet others from both AUD and AUS, and I must say that the AUD student body is more of an ideal student body. AUS needs to file in regulations concerning their students’ activities.

  5. MK on February 13, 2009 8:20 pm

    To Rabbit: Assuming you really went to AUD, if you applied to AUS now (and it’s never to late to get a proper education), you’d probably end up in the Intensive English Program first to learn correct spelling and grammar.

  6. SK on February 15, 2009 9:13 am

    I like MK’s keen observation on Rabbit’s comments, although the critisim should be taken in a positive manner.

  7. sleepless in sharjah on February 15, 2009 1:35 pm

    AUS is academic but both AUS and AUD have a student body whose attitude largely is a happy go lucky, laid back, chilled out, splash money lifestyle where the latest in cars, mobile phones and branded accessories seem more important than academic credentials. the student body in AUS i would say is marginally more serious than in AUD just because students r so far away from civilisation and therefore are more focused?? i studied in AUS and found it more academically inclined than AUD however, i regret that for ditching better options worldwide and instead staying on here n attempting to go to the ‘best’. the exposure continues to remain limited/restricted and im not sure if one really grows as a person in the environment that either offers.

  8. shantisubra on February 16, 2009 12:58 pm

    I apprpeciate SK’ comments on MK’s comments on Rabbit’s comments. Again MK, you too are wrong. It is not “to late”, but “too late”.

    I applaud and endorse the views of Sleepless in Sharjah completely. Here the students have not seen hard way of life, though not necessarily, all easy money and easy education with easy competition or Nil “healthy” competition to be more precise. For the exhorbitant fee and the quality of education, any day UK, USA or INDIA will offer much much more quality education with appropriate fee and at a healthier competition levels.

  9. NT on August 17, 2009 12:02 pm

    Well, What I hear is that AUD doesn’t give very good quality education, but i believe it is one of the good universities in the middle east.

    AUS on the other hand, where I study, is getting very hard as they are trying to keep the accreditation. Fine, but what on earth could force a professor to lower the class average and curve down for the sake of accreditation. We students, as most of us are on scholarships, are working very hard to keep it, thus missing alot of activities that any student shall have.


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