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The 20th anniversary of the University of Wollongong in Dubai was marked with a variety of events and initiatives during 2013. Students, staff, stakeholders, alumni and local community members were all a part of the celebrations throughout the year. Here’s a snapshot of some of the major events that marked our 20th anniversary year.

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New year, new look

UOWD heralded the start of the 20th anniversary celebrations with the launch of a brand new website. The revamped site – which boasts a clean look and more engaging content – was launched after a six-month review and planning exercise, incorporating international best practice. The key differentiators include a mega drop-down menu for a better user experience as well as optimised SEO content. Another key development for the new year was the expansion of library facilities on campus, which were extended to provides dedicated rooms for doctoral students, as well as additional general workspace and facilities. Read more about these developments.

Campus celebrations

More than 800 current, former and future students, along with their families and friends, joined UOWD staff and the wider community to mark the first wave of celebrations at a carnival-style event on 14 March. The campus celebration involved a vast array of fun-filled activities, including competitions and challenges, a customary Australian barbecue and traditional Arabic cuisine, and an impressive range of student-led performances in the ‘Wollongong’s Got Talent Competition’. Read more and view pictures from the event.

Science Block inauguration

UOWD’s 20th anniversary year saw the inauguration of a new science block at the Dubai Knowledge Village campus. The Honourable Andrew Stoner MP, New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, formally opened the new facility during his official visit to the UAE. The new block consists of two dedicated laboratories – a physics lab and circuits lab – which contain state-of-the-art equipment, allowing students to interact with modern testing equipment and experience the latest experimental concepts in these fields. Read more about the facility and its inauguration.

AppVision Competition

Building on UOWD’s existing collaboration with schools through the Mathalon contest, the 20th anniversary year saw the first ever staging of the UOWD AppVision Competition. The Competition challenged high school students to come up with an idea for a new application for any smart phone or tablet device. The winning entry, ‘Life Simulator’ came from a team representing Our Own High School, Al Warqa’a. According to the team, the App will “change how people make decisions in everyday life”. Read more about the event and the winning App.

7,000th student graduates in 20th anniversary year

At the University’s 24th graduation ceremony held in October 2013, UOWD witnessed the graduation of its 7,000th student. The ceremony conferred 463 degrees in total, the highest number of graduates at a single graduation ceremony in the university’s history and another significant milestone in the 20th anniversary year. The ceremony was graced by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Read more and view pictures from the event.

Two decades of UOWD graduates at anniversary Iftar

UOWD hosted over 200 guests at its annual alumni Iftar held at the Arjaan Rotana Hotel, Dubai Media City. The twenty years of UOWD history were represented at the event, with alumni from the very first graduation ceremony sitting side by side with members of the class of 2013, sharing their memories of UOWD over the years. Read more and view pictures from the event.

Gala Dinner celebrations 

In October, UOWD celebrated the 20th anniversary of its establishment in the UAE with two hundred guests, at a gala dinner held at Mina A’ Salam, Madinat Jumeirah. The occasion was graced by HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, who was Guest of Honour at the commemorative event. Read more to find out what HH Sheikh Nahyan spoke about on the occasion and view pictures from the event.

Adam Gilchrist Sports Award

In the autumn term, UOWD launched a new sports award in the name of Australian cricketing hero Adam Gilchrist.  On 10 November Adam visited UOWD to present the first of the annual awards to Ritik Bagchi, who joined UOWD from Delhi Private School Sharjah. The award provides the recipient with a 50 per cent waiver on UOWD tuition fees (subject to certain criteria) throughout their chosen degree program. During his visit, Adam also attended a reception hosted by Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar, HE Pablo Kang, to commemorated UOWD’s 20th anniversary year. Read more about Adam’s visit and this year’s sports award recipient.

Business awards and industry panel

Aramex PJSC and Americana Group (Egypt)  were honoured for their commitment to community development at an award ceremony hosted by UOWD, in collaboration with the Middle East and North Africa Chapter of the Academy of International Business (AIB-MENA), celebrating UOWD’s interaction with industry as part of the 20th anniversary commemorations. The event also saw the launch of the third volume of the AIB-MENA Case Studies Book ‘Actions and Insights Middle East and North Africa’ and to celebrate the book launch, an industry panel representing some of the companies featured in the book came together in a roundtable discussion on the subject ‘East Meets West’. Read more about the awards and the panel discussion.

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