Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university, is welcoming its first cohort of students from around the worldas they arrive in Abu Dhabi ahead of the start of the January 2021 academic year.
More than 2,000 of students from nearly 100 countries had applied to enroll at the new Abu Dhabi-based university. After a rigorous admissions process, 80 students from 29 countries are set to begin their AI education journey when MBZUAI starts classes in January 2021.The students include 67 acceptedin the University’s MSc programs in Computer Vision, and Machine Learning, while 13have been accepted for MBZUAI’s PhD programs in the same fields. The university’s inaugural student body includes 31% female students, a rarity in the highly technical fields that often still skew heavily towards male students.
“We are incredibly pleased to extend a warm welcome to our first cohort of students, including those arriving in Abu Dhabi from all around the world. MBZUAI was launched as an open invitation from Abu Dhabi to the world to unleash AI’s full potential, and our team is excited to start working with and nurturing the future leaders in the field of AI.We are inspired by the caliber of the global talent and boundless enthusiasm of the MBZUAI students, and we look forward to the commencement of the inaugural semester in January,” said Reem Al Orfali, Director of Student Affairs at MBZUAI.
In line with the necessary health and safety COVID-19 regulations set out by the Abu Dhabi health authorities, the international MBZUAI students have been given an opportunity to participate in a number of engaging online activities while they completed a mandatory quarantine period in Abu Dhabi. The students received a virtual tour of Abu Dhabi and attended the MBZUAI Talks led by the university’s AI experts. They havealso been participating in refresher courses onessential topics of math, programming, and AI, scholastic sessions on conducting ethical research,and employer-led webinars where they interacted with AI professionals on pursuing careers in the field.
As a part of the initiative to introduce and welcome students to Abu Dhabi and the UAE, the international MBZUAI students also received a virtual tour of the UAE’s iconic destinations and landmarks from the Department of Culture & Tourism. The students also got to experience an online guided tour of the LouvreAbu Dhabi.
The university, in partnership with health authorities, alsofacilitated an online session on the COVID-19 precautions and regulations to ensure the students’ health and safety in these unprecedented times. In addition, personal coaching and online exercise sessions have been offered to the students.
Once the academic year commences on January 10, 2021, the inaugural MBZUAI cohort will be taught by renowned faculty, overseen byProfessor Dr. Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, and the University’s Board of Trustees, which comprises internationally renowned experts in the field of AI. Thestudentswill also enjoy a purpose-built, high-tech and eco-friendly campus in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. The campus includes futuristic smart classrooms and research laboratories, an AI-specialized knowledge center, and recreational facilities.