Times Higher Education and NYU Abu Dhabi to Launch MENA Universities Summit in the UAE

Times Higher Education and NYU Abu Dhabi to Launch MENA Universities Summit in the UAE.
November 1, 2023

The gathering will place a special focus on universities’ contribution to sustainability, the impact of artificial intelligence on teaching, and higher education’s efforts to carry out the COP long-term agenda. 

Abu Dhabi, UAE, November 1, 2023: In partnership with Times Higher Education (THE), NYU Abu Dhabi will host the  THE MENA Universities Summit 2023 in the UAE from November 13-15 ahead of COP28 UAE.  

Themed Innovation in times of change, the Summit will highlight the contribution of universities to sustainability, the impact of AI on teaching, and higher education’s vital long-term role in supporting the COP agenda. 

The THE Awards MENA 2023 winners will also be announced, celebrating the very best stories in higher education, and providing an exciting opportunity to showcase the inspirational work taking place in the region’s universities.   The event will also see the exclusive reveal of the Times Higher Education Arab University Rankings 2023 accompanied by an exclusive data masterclass featuring detailed analysis and insights from THE's data team to explore the key findings, trends and stories from the data. 

Nick Davis, President Middle East and Africa, THE, commented: 

“We are delighted to be bringing the MENA Universities Summit back to the UAE for the first time since 2016. Working with NYU Abu Dhabi is always a pleasure, but the enthusiasm and creativity their team have brought to bring together this event has been enviable.  

“This year's MENA Universities Summit will congregate a diverse range of delegates from across the university, corporate and government sectors and will recognise excellence from institutions across the region, seeing the release of the third edition of the Arab University Rankings including an updated methodology and the launch of the first-ever THE Awards MENA.” 

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann commented:  

“We are very pleased to host THE MENA Universities Summit 2023 at NYU Abu Dhabi. The theme, Innovation in times of change, is aligned with our mission to educate and empower youth, conduct research to help tackle the world’s challenges, and drive innovation that improves our societies and the environment. Ahead of COP28, this conference will underline the value of collaboration to achieve innovative and sustainable problem-solving in higher education and discuss how universities today can best equip future generations to have the greatest positive impact. 

Speakers at the event include: Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh; President of The American University in Cairo Ahmed Dallal; Provost at Heriot-Watt University Dubai Professor Dame Heather McGregor; President of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Toyin Tofade; and President of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence Eric Xing, with more to be announced. 

These influential education leaders will emphasize the promotion of innovation, agility, and strong national and regional collaboration, fuelling the region’s drive towards incorporating sustainability and equity across all aspects of a higher education institution’s outlook and long-term strategy. In doing so, the THE MENA Universities Summit will reflect the commitment of regional universities to positively influence the future, by highlighting the future of their research, and their graduates, and efforts to contribute to the aims of COP28. 

 For further information about the event:  

Event:  THE MENA Universities Summit 2023  

Date: November 13-15, 2023 

Location: New York University Abu Dhabi  

View more about the event 


Notes to editors: 

1. Biographies of speakers 

His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh is the Cultural Advisor to His Highness the President of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University. Prior to taking on this role, His Excellency was a Minister of State in the UAE government, setting up the Office of Cultural and Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. His Excellency has received many honours for his services to cultural diplomacy from national and international institutes and has been elected to several foreign Academies.  

Ahmad S. Dallal is American University in Cairo’s 13th President and an accomplished academic leader and renowned scholar with U.S. and regional higher education expertise. Dallal is the former dean of Georgetown University in Qatar and served as provost at the American University of Beirut (AUB) from 2009 to 2015. A prominent scholar of Islamic studies, he has taught at AUB, Stanford University, Yale University, Smith College and Georgetown University, where he also served as chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. 

Dame Heather McGregor is the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Professor McGregor was previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School, having held the post since 2016. Her earlier career was in investment banking, and she has spent 17 years as an entrepreneur leading her own executive search firm and writer for the Financial Times prior to her move into higher education. 

Toyin Tofade is the 10th president of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She previously served as dean and professor at the Howard University College of Pharmacy in Washington, DC, and worked in roles at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, including associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, and associate director and assistant dean of the Experiential Learning Programme.  

Mariët Westermann is the Vice-Chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi. Previous posts include Executive Vice-President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, Director of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, and Associate Director of Research at the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts. At the Mellon Foundation, she launched initiatives to study and promote the value of the humanities and the liberal arts, strengthen community colleges, encourage graduate education reform, renew preservation of cultural heritage around the world, and support scholars and artists at risk. 

Eric Xing is an American computer scientist, entrepreneur, and President and University Professor of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. Previously, Xing was a professor in the School of Computer Science and the founding director of the Center for Machine Learning and Health at Carnegie Mellon University. Xing is also founder, chairman, chief scientist, and former CEO of Petuum Inc., a 2018 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer company. 

2. THE is the trusted global data partner for higher education. Drawing on five decades of expertise in the sector, millions of individual data points and with more unique institutions participating in our flagship university rankings than any other, we offer deeper and richer insight into university performance than anyone else. From powerful data-driven insights and strategic consultancy support to agenda-setting events, student recruitment and hiring solutions, our products and services enable everyone in higher education to make smarter, more informed decisions. For more information, visit Times Higher Education or find us on Twitter/X: @timeshighered @THEworldunirank   

3. NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective program with majors in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts, and humanities with a world center for advanced research. Its campus enables students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world, and to advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from some 125 countries and speak over 100 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents. Visit: nyuad.nyu.edu 

4. To arrange a complimentary press pass for the event or to find out more about it please contact THE communications at: communications@timeshighereducation.com