Three of Abu Dhabi’s leading higher education institutions are to merge, in a bid to boost the emirate’s research profile.
Science-focused Khalifa University will be amalgamated with the Masdar Institute, which focuses on energy and sustainability technology, and the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi’s executive council ruled.
Hussain Al Hammadi, the country’s education minister, said that the merger would be “the catalyst for us in our race to propel institutions to achieve highest levels of research”, The National reported. Mr Al Hammadi said that the United Arab Emirates currently had a “weakness in terms of research”.
“We need to provide these institutions with all the support they need so we can achieve a knowledge-based economy, otherwise we will not achieve our goals,” the minister was quoted as saying. “This integration will pay off very soon and we expect [it] to result in a pioneering institution that will ultimately build a generation that will be able to achieve the goals of the leadership.”
Ahmad Belhoul, the higher education minister, said that the merger would allow Abu Dhabi to “leverage combined resources and expertise while fostering greater knowledge-sharing”.
In a separate development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced that its School of Architecture and Planning will help to launch a new undergraduate institution in Dubai, focusing on design. The Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation will offer the Gulf’s first degree in design, MIT said.