UAE's AI university welcomes first students

Seventy-eight students from 29 countries begin their studies in Abu Dhabi this week

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence welcomed its first students during an online event on Tuesday.

The 78 students from 29 countries will begin their studies in Abu Dhabi this week. There are 14 Emiratis in the cohort.

International students began arriving in Abu Dhabi in November to receive a cultural introduction to the UAE, and to complete Covid-19 health and safety precautionary measures.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of the MBZUAI board of trustees, in his welcome speech to the students emphasised the importance of AI.

“I am delighted to welcome the first cohort. With global expertise and a truly international student body hailing from 29 countries, the university will empower the UAE to become a leader in the field of AI,” he said.

“We are on the path towards leveraging AI as a truly transformative tool to support the UAE’s socio-economic development while leading the way forward in the use of AI to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

University president Prof Eric Xing, faculty and staff also attended the online event.

The university's first students were selected from thousands of applications received from almost 100 countries.

The first students are 13 PhD students and 65 MSc students, who have enrolled in machine learning and computer vision programmes at the university.

“The vision for MBZUAI is to nurture a new generation of leaders in science, engineering, policy and business with the necessary understanding to unlock the potential of AI through their academic research and industrial applications,” Prof Xing said.

“We will deliver excellence in the field of AI education, research and development, through a world-class curriculum and collaborative projects with industry leaders.

“I would like to urge all of the students to develop the essential qualities of a technologist by challenging existing results from established researchers, thinking creatively, putting knowledge into practice and aspiring to become leaders who will change the world.”

Abu Dhabi's MBZUAI is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university. It is already accepting applications for the Autumn 2021 start in computer vision and machine learning MSc and PhD programmes.

Early admission closes on January 15 and the regular admission deadline is April 15. The next academic year starts in August.