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COP28: Strong surge in demand for Zayed University’s sustainability programme

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  • The programme is designed to provide interdisciplinary expertise alongside subject matter expertise

As the UAE celebrates the ‘Year of Sustainability’ and prepares to host the upcoming COP28, demand for Zayed University’s pioneering sustainability programme has more than doubled.

Admissions for the Bachelor of Science in sustainability programme have seen a 140 per cent surge reflecting how COP28 UAE is increasing awareness of career opportunities in sustainability.

The programme at the UAE’s flagship higher education institution was first launched last year and now welcomes its second cohort. The programme fuses together technology, business and policy to develop the cross-industry skills students need to tackle the most urgent national and international challenges.

“Young people today are passionate about the environment and want to pursue a career in sustainability,” professor Suzanna ElMassah, the sustainability programme lead, said as the university welcomes its latest intake at the start of the academic year.

With specialisations offered in sustainable enterprise, sustainable policy, and sustainable environments, the programme is designed to provide interdisciplinary expertise alongside subject matter expertise.

ElMassah underlined that the university has been committed to nurturing the next generation of sustainability leaders.

“Our mission is to empower students as effective and knowledgeable advocates for a greener future. To combat climate change, we must foster innovative solutions and a fresh perspective. Our graduates will be the catalysts who can propel the UAE toward its net-zero targets, leading efforts to reduce emissions, eliminate single-use plastic, and shape a truly circular economy.”

The forthcoming hosting of COP28 in the UAE has spurred young people in the region to embrace sustainable practices and integrate them into their lifestyles. It has also ignited increased interest in sustainability education and careers.

Existing students in the university’s sustainability programme have already established an active Sustainability Club, which focuses on increasing awareness of climate action and is preparing the university’s students for the upcoming COP28. Through the club’s initiatives, students are actively engaging in innovative sustainability practices and tackling urgent environmental issues by connecting academic knowledge with the corporate sector.


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