His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah since 1972, visited The Royal Academy of Engineering on Friday 7 November 2008. He was welcomed by Academy President Lord Browne of Madingley and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Academy.

His Highness, who held the position of Minister of Education for the UAE from 1971-1972, identified the changing patterns in education caused by science and technological developments and made a commitment to providing a rounded education at all levels including science, information technology, arts, and music in the curriculum at all Sharjai schools.

In keeping with his philosophy that no country can live in a state of isolation due to the revolutionary advances in science and technology he founded the American University of Sharjah in 1997. The University was acclaimed for its unique approach to engineering education based around hands on-laboratory work, group based learning and the preparation of engineering students for global practice through development of cultural and communications skills.

“We warmly welcome His Highness to the Royal Academy of Engineering to sign a memorandum of understanding with us, says Academy Past President Lord Broers. “His Highness’ commitment to education at all levels and his support for engineering and technology are well documented and widely respected.”

The development of the Al-Qasimi building at Durham University where he himself was a student and the funding of two professorships at Exeter University are exemplars of his belief in progressive education and the importance of innovation and cultural changes in engineering education.

Sharjah is the third largest of the Emirates and is seen as the leading centre of education in the Middle East and accounts for 40% of the industrial activity in the United Arab Emirates.

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Tonia Page at The Royal Academy of Engineering

Tel. 020 7766 0636