I recently returned from a trip to New York having attended a counsellor session hosted by NYU Abu Dhabi. Along with over 50 other counsellors from across the United States and Canada, I learned about an exciting initiative that New York University is undertaking with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Together, they are building a new NYU campus to be located on Saadiyat Island, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf. The university will be right next to new branches of both the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.
Those of us in attendance at the presentation on the Manhattan NYU campus were treated to an inspiring talk by NYU president John Sexton who told us about his vision for the new campus. John Sexton is a firm believer in the value of an amalgamation of a liberal arts, science, and technology education; the need to promote global awareness and nurture global citizens; and the future of what he calls “idea capitals” at key spots in the world. He believes that the world will have 6 to 8 of these idea capitals, each anchored by a world class research university.
I see NYU Abu Dhabi as one of these idea-capital anchors and as a potentially life-changing opportunity for any student who is globally minded, adventurous, academic, and interested in the Middle East. The first class at NYU Abu Dhabi will start in September of 2010 and will be made up of only 100 students taught by 40 of NYU’s top professors who, right now, are competing for positions at the new campus. Eventually, the university will have a population of 2,000 undergraduates, but the first class will have the privilege of being part of an inspired melding of East and West in a setting unlike any in the world.
The counsellors in attendance at the presentation in New York were asked to nominate 1 or 2 students from our current grade 11 classes as potential candidates for NYU Abu Dhabi. About 300 of those nominees will be flown to Abu Dhabi in November of this year to see the country and the site for the new university as well as go through an Admissions weekend to help determine who the 100 students for the first class of NYU Abu Dhabi will be.
I will be holding an information session about this unique opportunity in June – further details will follow. But if you have any questions about NYU Abu Dhabi and this exciting prospect, please give me a call or send me an email.