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MBZUAI Welcome Second Cohort of Students for Autumn 2021 Semester

by Eddie Rayner

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the graduate-level research university focused on artificial intelligence (AI), welcomed its second cohort of students with the kickoff of the 2021 autumn semester.

A total of 74 students have joined the three programmes offered, including 66 who will pursue masters’ degrees and nine who will pursue PhDs courses. A total of 41students have joined the University’s Computer Vision programme, and a further 24 for Machine Learning. MBZUAI has also introduced Natural Language Processing (NLP)this year, with9studentsregistered for the inaugural class.

The 2021 intake includes students from 29 nationalities, with 14 new countries represented for the first time in the MBZUAI cohort. Ten of these are UAE nationals, with other learners from the US, India, Italy, China, Kazakhstan and many more. Among the newly represented countries are the UK, France, Hungary, Mexico, Colombia, and others as the University’s reputation continues to soar. The University received around 5,000 applications this year, highlighting the competitiveness of the admission process.


74students will join one of three programs, including 66 for the master’s and eight for the PhD courses


Women are well represented in MBZUAI’s second academic year, with 23 female candidates pursuing degrees.

MBZUAI had 71 students in its inaugural intake at the beginning of the year who pursued Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

The students were welcomed on 15 August by Professor Fakhreddine (Fakhri) Karray, the University’s new Provost, Reem Al Orfali, Director of Student Affairs and Faris Almalik, Vice President of the Student Council.

The new cohort completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at some of the world’s leading universities. These include renowned institutions like Purdue University, University of Edinburgh, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Harbin Institute of Technology, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, and Khalifa University.


Autumn intake represents 29 nationalities, with 14 countries represented for the first time


Professor Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, said: “From the moment we welcomed our first students, we aimed to welcome the world to Abu Dhabi to help advance AI and solve some of the world’s great challenges. Our second cohort reflects a diversity of skills and backgrounds that will enrich the development of the technology and help it reach full potential for the betterment of businesses, society, and economies here in the UAE and beyond.”

Over the past year, MBZUAI has established numerous strategic partnerships for AI research and development with renowned organisations such as Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

MBZUAI students will attend live classes at the University’s purpose-built, high-tech campus situated within Masdar City, with smart classrooms and advanced computing labs as well as a specialised AI knowledge centre, modern gym and recreational facilities.