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Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi

Sunday 21 January 2018 (UAE)   

Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi

University name Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi
Director's name
Executive body or owner
Date founded proposed
Number of students (approx)
Number of staff (approx)
Type of institute private university
University location / area (no map)
Postal address Abu Dhabi, UAE
Telephone proposed
Curriculum US
University fees
Lecturer salary range
Student satisfaction rating
5 stars from 2 votes.    
Parent satisfaction rating
3 stars from 1 vote.    
Lecturer job satisfaction rating
(by lecturers, not about lecturers)
Not Rated from 0 votes.    

Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi admissions, reviews, notes

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Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi (VUAD?) courses and programs
  • Abu Dhabi campus possibly under consideration, no course information yet.
25 April 2011
  • Students in the USA protesting the opening of a Vanderbilt University in the UAE continued to dilute their credibility by repeating previous inaccurate statements with another article in the Inside Vandy student newspaper quoting David Pasch, co-founder of Students Against Vanderbilt in the Emirates (SAVE): "Abu Dhabi is notorious for workers’ rights violations, its treatment of homosexuals and for spreading lies about the Holocaust. Why would Vanderbilt, one of them most prestigious universities in the world, want to do business with this country?" For one, Abu Dhabi is not a country, it is one of the emirates in the UAE.
  • However, they did highlight a current issue of concern in the UAE regarding the apparent arrest of a professor at the Abu Dhabi Sorbonne University for allegedly calling for democratic reforms in the UAE. Confirmation of his arrest (and another 3 UAE citizens along with one person of indeterminate nationality) was reported on 25 April 2011 by the official UAE news agency.
21 April 2011
  • Inside Higher Ed, an online Higher Education news and commentary source in the USA, published a report about the Abu Dhabi Vanderbilt University issue with comments apparently attributed to Richard McCarty, Provost of Vanderbilt in the USA, but didn't say where the comments came from originally (although it might be because IHE actually interviewed Richard McCarty themselves). Some of the points raised in the article included
    • Vanderbilt officials have not formally announced plans in Abu Dhabi, but Provost Richard McCarty said administrators have been in talks with its government for about 10 months regarding development of an independent education school.
    • McCarty said the university is not close to making a decision on whether to get involved in the project, and would probably debate the topic for the next year.
  • And the rather curious implication that Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi wouldn't actually teach students, or even try to attract students:
    • This would not be a branch campus similar to the one New York University has established in Abu Dhabi. "It would be a very different model than what schools are doing there now. ... It would not be about attracting students. It would not be a tuition model. It would be about an emirate trying to transform its society and doing it on the strength of their teachers."
17 April 2011
  • Vanderbilt students in the USA picked up on the story of a possible Vanderbilt University campus in the UAE, and voiced their objections, including setting up a FaceBook page against the idea (Students Against Vanderbilt in the Emirates), and writing blog articles, focused on the human rights record in the UAE, and issues to do treatment of labourers in the UAE, and the claim that the UAE denies the Holocaust
  • The Vanderbilt Hustler Inside Vandy blog or student newspaper had an article by Theodore Samets and David Pasch on 17 April 2011 which said that It turns out Zeppos and Provost Richard McCarty have a plan to open a Vanderbilt campus in Abu Dhabi. And quoted anonymous persons as saying the plan "is very far along in the process" but without saying when that was said or to whom. Although the blog probably drew attention to some valid considerations, the authors diluted its value considerably by publishing (common) inaccuracies and misrepresentations, for example:
    • In the United Arab Emirates, homosexuality is a serious offense, as spelled out in their penal code, and is punishable by death in many cases. Homosexual activity is criminalised as far as we know but we've never heard of anyone receiving a death penalty as a punishment, and nor can we find any authoritative source that says it even is punishable by death.
    • The country refuses visitors with Israeli stamps on their passports and denies the existence of the Jewish state, our nation’s closest ally in the region. Visitors with Israeli stamps are permitted entry to the UAE as far as we know. Israeli citizens aren't (although exceptions have been made), and it is correct that the UAE doesn't formally recognise Israel.
    • Night classes, for instance, would be prohibited in order to comply with Abu Dhabi’s prohibition of women appearing in public after dusk without being accompanied by a male family member. We're not aware of such a prohibition, and one can see many women, both Emirati and expat, unaccompanied by men, walking around Abu Dhabi after sunset. Many institutes in the UAE already offer evening programs which are attended by unaccompanied women.
    • a symposium sponsored by the state-financed Zayed Center challenged the existence of the Holocaust ... The speakers at the conference were noted anti-Semites, but they also paraded as academics. The statements made by the speakers were indeed virulently anti-Semitic, but the conference was in 2002, and the Vandy blog authors neglected to mention that the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up was subsequently closed by the UAE Government in August 2003 as a result of those statements. A press release by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York on 18 August 2003 said they welcomed reports that a major purveyor of anti-Semitism in the Arab world is being shut down by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ZCCF website used to be at www.zccf.org.ae but not available as of April 2011. Some sources say the ZCCF website was at www.zayedcenter.org.ae but that was for the Emirates Heritage Club Zayed Center for Heritage and History in Al Ain (also unavailable as of April 2011), an unrelated organisation as far as we know.
11 April 2011
  • Vanderbilt University might be considering the establishment of a branch campus in Abu Dhabi depending on how you read a WAM report released 11 April 2011.
  • Nicholas Zeppos, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University in the USA, met with His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, at Emirates Palace Hotel to discuss potential cooperation in the field of higher education and scientific research.
  • The report said that Mr. Zeppos emphasized Vanderbilt University's desire to establish special ties with UAE educational institutions and work together to improve academic cooperation for the benefit of both sides.
Last update 24 April 2011
General comments - might not apply to Vanderbilt University Abu Dhabi
  • Fees, facilities, education quality varies widely. Allow extra fees for visa, transport, accommodation.
  • Salaries, accommodation, other benefits for lecturer jobs vary substantially. Check contracts carefully for medical, housing, flight allowances, etc.
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