First independent ‘how to choose a university’ eBook for MENA region launched


Selecting a university is one of the most important decisions a young person will make in his or her life. Every course and each university is different. Students require different elements that go towards making of a unique university experience. Since there is far more to choosing a university than the subject studied, American University of Sharjah (AUS), one of the world’s top 500 universities, has developed and launched the region’s first ‘how to choose a university’ eBook to guide prospective students and their parents through the labyrinth which is the start of the university process.

The eBook is available in English and Arabic as well as in audio file, as a free download from the website. The guide identifies seven key elements which must be considered when selecting a university in the MENA region and globally: including early application, academic accreditation, recruitment history, tuition fees, curriculum, location and global reputation; all of these factors contribute to a student’s enjoyment of the experience, whether they succeed on their chosen course, their lasting memories of university life and their future career success.

“Having recently completed an AUS roadshow in Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan and having spent years talking to students, parents and school teachers in the region, it is clear that there is a real and pressing need for a concise document to support all parties when selecting a university, either locally or internationally,” said Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at AUS.

According to the eBook, regional students have more opportunities today than ever to enroll in international universities for both international and local studies. However differentiating between these institutions and the value of a host of ranking and accreditation systems can be very confusing. The guide also highlights the strength of an institution’s relationship with employers, a factor often overlooked by those considering a university. The guide factors in the importance of cultural diversity and integration at university, an important issue in an increasingly interconnected world whilst highlighting the facilities that students from various countries should look for to ensure that they feel at home and can settle into their university experience.

International figures indicate that across the UK, the number of students dropping out of university increased from 28,210 to 31,755 last year – a rise of almost 13 per cent and figures across the US are equally high. Many factors have been implicated as the cause of these student drop-out rates; however, the overall level of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among students with respect to the institution they choose to study at, factors as the main reason behind their decision to leave. This highlights the vital importance and dedication which must be applied during the process of selecting a university by both the prospective student and their parents.

“We place special emphasis not only on study but also on personal, social and cultural growth for any student, whether they chose AUS or another establishment which suits their own individual needs,” added Shuhaimy. “We want students and parents to make the right university choices and wanted to assist students and their parents with what can be a complicated and puzzling process of selecting an institute for higher education. We appreciate that it can be a challenging time for all concerned and hope that with our free eBook, we are able to share our experience of the industry and help eliminate the obstacles which surround the process.”

Shuhaimy added that around half of the 87 nationalities at AUS come from the MENA region, including the UAE, KSA and Jordan. “We pride ourselves in supporting these students and helping them integrate into the campus community. When compiling the guide, we considered both international and local scholars and believe it will bring some clarity to students to the method of selecting their future,” he added.


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