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Education is fundamental to UAEs success and progress, says His Excellency, Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan

Sunday, 18 April, 2010

Hails the role of UOWD at a function honouring
Dr. Jim Langridge as a Fellow of the University

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, said that the UAE deeply values education as fundamental to its success and development, and lauded the important role played by educational institutions in the countrys progress.

Speaking as the Guest of Honour at a ceremony to mark the presentation of a Fellow of the University award to Dr. Jim Langridge, the founder of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), H.E. Sheikh Nahayan said: "Educational institutions play a crucial role in shaping a country. The UAE leaders are implementing a planned program to ensure that high standard education is provided to all.

Paying tributes to Dr. Langridge, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan praised him as a dedicated and respected member of the academic community, who played a pivotal role in setting up the University of Wollongong in Dubai 17 years ago.

Sheikh Nahayan said Dr. Langridge was instrumental in elevating the university to a high level and engaging the UAE community in pursuing educational excellence, for the benefit of the whole country.

"I would like to commend Dr. Langridge for his contribution to higher education in the UAE through high goals and aspirations, and by setting high standards. He succeeded in making the university an exciting place for the staff, faculty and the student community.

His Excellency Doug Trappett, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, hailed the booming UAE-Australia relations and the existence of tremendous amount of goodwill between the two countries.

"I am proud to say that the University in Wollongong in Dubai has played a central role in boosting relations between UAE and Australia, as proved by the emergence of quality ambassadors from this institution, including over 700 Emirati graduates, he said. "I am happy to note that the university is now venturing into high-end research which will further contribute to the progress of the UAE.

Prof. Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, welcomed H.E. Sheikh Nahayan and recalled that when Dr. Langridge was implementing his UOWD vision one of the first people he approached was H.E. Sheikh Nahayan, who welcomed him warmly. Prof. Whelan later presented a painting by a well known traditional Australian artist to His Excellency.

Dr. Langridge, affectionately known as the "Chief Architect of UOWD, saw an opportunity for the University of Wollongong in the Gulf region, long before any other Australian University thought of seriously exploring the internationalization of higher education.

Dr. Langridge was presented with the Fellow of the University award at UOWDs Spring Graduation Ceremony at the hands of Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of the Dubai Department of Information on April 14.

Dr Langridge retired from his senior executive position at the University of Wollongong late last year, and also from his position on the UOWD Board of Trustees. UOWD proudly carries the legacy of Jims own character a willingness to step into the unknown, the courage to take on enormous challenges, great optimism and enduring persistence.