Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has been recognised for its excellence in online learning, earning the highest rating of five stars by the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds – QS Stars Rating for year 2021. ADU has achieved an outstanding overall score of 95% in the Online Learning category. The University achieved a full score in student-faculty engagement, student interaction, student services and technology, online outsourcing and commitment to online learning.
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, ADU has rolled out several initiatives to enhance online learning and elevate the student experience under the new circumstances. The university integrated modern technologies into its curricula including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), as well as 3D technology to allow engineering students to continue their practical work remotely. Additionally, ADU launched 360-degree imaging videos, which are sent to students ahead of classes to provide them with a visual representation of the laboratories, supporting them during virtual sessions and ensuring they receive a holistic educational journey. Through its use of innovative tools, ADU witnessed high engagement with the participation of over 7,000 users and recorded over 50,000 lectures through deploying online learning for its faculty and student body.
The rating was given in recognition of ADU’s commitment to online learning
In a bid to keep students engaged while learning remotely, the Employability and Alumni Relations Office (EARO) at the university launched a series of initiatives, including virtual career development workshops and events for students and graduates. The EARO continues to collaborate with potential employers in the nation to present virtual career information sessions and create opportunities for students to network with future employers.
The university has reaped the fruit of its efforts in online learning through the outstanding performance delivered by students. Most recently, Ahmed Al Hammadi, a student in the Master of Science in Information Technology programme at ADU’s College of Engineering (CoE), designed the first mobile application of its kind known as the ‘virtual museum’, which showcases museums and their exhibitions digitally.
ADU launched 360-degree imaging videos, which are sent to students ahead of classes to provide them with a visual representation of the laboratories
Professor Waqar Ahmad, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University (ADU) said: “The wise leadership of the UAE has always focused on opening the doors for our youth and providing them with opportunities to grow, innovate and excel, and we continue to follow this school of thought. We are proud to receive yet another accolade that highlights our institution’s efforts in delivering an outstanding online learning experience and a 360 educational journey. ADU is committed to investing in innovative educational tools and developing its curriculum with the aim of equipping our students with a solid foundation to kick-start their careers.”
The technology that encompasses ADU online lecture delivery is a combination of robust Learning Management Systems, a reliable and clear collaboration interface between the student and faculty in a secure manner. Collaboration tools include Microsoft Teams and Workspace, Learning Management System (LMS), Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI), Blackboard Learn Cloud, Single Sign On (SSO) and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
In an effort to deliver a well-rounded online learning experience, the ADU faculty and student body are regularly surveyed to provide their feedback on tools, curricula and the overall educational journey both on and off-campus.
QS Stars is a rating system that provides a detailed look at an institution, enabling prospective students to identify which universities are the best in the specific fields such as programme strength, facilities, graduate employability, social responsibility and inclusiveness among others. In the methodology used for QS Stars, universities are evaluated in dozens of indicators across at least eight dimensions. After the assessment, universities are awarded an overall Star result which ranges from 0 to 5+ Stars, depending on the number of points achieved during the evaluation.