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Abu Dhabi: NYUAD hosts its largest commencement ceremony since inception



It is one of the most selective higher education institutions in the world, with only four per cent of those who applied for the Class of 2023 getting admission

A total of 455 students who come from more than 80 countries, collectively speaking 65 languages, participated in the largest graduating class that New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has held since its inception in 2011.


NYUAD has been one of the most selective higher education institutions in the world, with nearly four per cent of those who applied to be a part of the Class of 2023 getting admission.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of the COP28 UAE, urged students to use their talents, passion, and creativity to make a real impact.


“Advocate for and support environmentally conscious policies. Empower and inspire others to adopt sustainable practices. Lead in your respective fields with sustainability and equity at the forefront,” she told undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students during NYUAD’s 10th commencement ceremony. “Through your actions, you have the power to transform the narrative of climate change and the loss of nature from one of despair into one of hope, resilience, and restoration,” Al Mubarak noted.

Sheikh Al Murr Bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum; Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development; Jassem Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Finance Department; William R. Berkley, Chairman of the New York University board of trustees; and Rima Al Mokarrab, NYU trustee, among other dignitaries were in attendance.

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariet Westermann officiated the ceremony at the University’s campus, along with NYU President Andrew Hamilton. The ceremony included the presentation of awards and accolades, including the Alfred H. Bloom Scholarship for Global Liberal Arts, NYUAD’s Piano Prize, the Global Leadership Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Ceremony of the Torch.


Class of 2023 student Seo-Hee Hong spoke on behalf of the graduating class, and Ghaya Mohammed Alshamsi from the class offered welcome remarks.

“Class of 2023, you are ready to do good on your onward journeys. And if you need a word of encouragement or a helping hand, remember that your NYUAD community will always be here for you,” Westermann added.

The degree-granting research university offers 26 majors across the arts and humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering. During their four years, the Class of 2023 has excelled in both academic and extracurricular pursuits.


It has participated in student clubs, athletic groups, and built ties with the Abu Dhabi community, and 87 per cent of the class held at least one internship during their academic career in some of the world’s most respected organisations such as UN Development Programme, Mubadala, Microsoft, United States Congress, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, among others.

Students have also received graduate school offers from a range of institutions, including Boston University, Oxford University, Peking University, and Columbia University, among others.


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