Rising virus numbers keep campus access restricted

Image Credit : Courtesy AUS

By Rand Al Atrash

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – While no decision has yet been made on what campus life will be like in spring, American University of Sharjah does not plan to expand current access given rising UAE pandemic numbers, Chancellor Kevin Mitchell wrote in an Oct. 25 email to faculty.

“The recent rise in the number of COVID-19-positive cases prohibits any expansion of access to the academic campus beyond current levels,” Mitchell stated. 

However, he noted that despite the pandemic and the switch to online teaching, overall student numbers remained largely stable since the previous fall. 

According to Mitchell, the number of undergraduates enrolled this semester was just slightly below last fall’s incoming figure, while enrollment in master’s programs increased. 

Mitchell called the numbers “a remarkable achievement” given the current situation. 

He added that AUS has been able to achieve its best student retention rate since 2008, while also attracting more highly qualified incoming students.