United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan opened the country's first university on Thursday (10 November).
SV: University sign in Arabic at al-Ain, UAE.
SV: President Sheikh Zayed arrives with members of the supreme federal council, crown princes, sheikhs, ministers and diplomats.
SV: Guests seated.
SV ZOOM OUT: President and guests stand in front of flag.
SV & GV: Guests seated. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: President raises flag.
SV: Foreign Minister Ahmed Khalifa al-Suweidi reads President's speech.
CU ZOOM OUT: Students seated.
SV: Official hands university flag to faculty member.
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Background: United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan opened the country's first university on Thursday (10 November). The occasion emphasized the importance placed on adult education by the country's government.
SYNOPSIS: The university is situated at the oasis town of al-Ain, about 100 miles from the capital of Abu Dhabi. When he arrived for the opening, Sheikh Zayed was accompanied by senior members of the government, crown princes, diplomats and leading educationist from the Arab world.
The ceremony was also attended by delegates to an international conference on education being held in Abu Dhabi.
The United Arab Emirates-a federation of what were formerly the Trucial States in the Arabian Gulf-is one of the leading Arab countries in the field of education. It provides compulsory education for all children, and also runs and adult literacy programme. The country has pioneered attitudes supporting Arab and Islamic education.
The new university will cater for students leaving the country's schools which number well over 200. Admission will also be open to students from other nations.
In his address, read for him by Foreign Minister Ahmed Khalifa al-Suweidi, Sheikh Zayed paid a tribute to those responsible for the completion of the university. He praised officials and professors for their "commendable efforts" in planning and establishing the university.
The State-owned university has four faculties-for the arts, science, political sciences and business administration. There is also a separate college for women students.