ADU updates its status as the UAE’s #1 university in social media interaction, engaging almost 100,000 users
In a bid to give students a greater voice and transform communications from a one-way monologue into a two-way interaction, Abu Dhabi University has become the UAE’s leading university in social media engagement according to Facebook statistics - attracting the lion’s share of all Facebook engagement among local institutions (over 80%). The institution, has so far reached more than 2.8 million people worldwide. Underlining its global appeal as a cosmopolitan community, its Twitter followers transcend the UAE and hail from as far afield as Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe and Australia.
According to the 2013 Arab Social Media Report, Arabic is now the fastest growing language on social media and this is reflected in ADU’s bilingual content. Its fan base of over 30,000 is soaring by 560 new fans per day, mirroring the Gulf region’s status as the world’semerging social media hotspot.
Mr. Mahmoud Khalil, Department of Marketing and Communications at Abu Dhabi University, explained that the institution is staying at the forefront of social media trends to become more interactive, proactive and responsive, and has been showered with highly positive feedback for promptly addressing students’ enquiries, concerns and needs:
“Whether we are announcing breaking news, sharing inspiring success stories, introducing new world-class faculty members, sending urgent reminders or announcing thrilling new contests that nurture students’ talents, our digital platforms keep us connected to the pulse of our student community and our society in real time.In addition, platforms like LinkedIn help our students to network with potential employers, while our Instagram and YouTube channels add to a wealth of captivating content that entertains, educates and inspires our global audience. This is basically a parallel universe where we bring students, faculty, employers and other partners together online, so that they can replicate this tight-knit community offline.”
Mr. Khalil noted that over 60% of the region’s population is aged under 29, hence ADU’s young fan base forms the heart of tomorrow’s thought leaders and trendsetters: “We should never forget that Facebook was the brainchild of university students just like our own, so we use social media to facilitate a free exchange of fresh ideas that empower our young visionaries to change the world in their own ways. When we welcomed our first students a decade ago, even Mark Zuckerberg himself didn’t know what Facebook was. But now we are riding the wave of the cyber revolution, harnessing the mobile app explosion and exploring trends like podcasts and vodcasts to distinguish ourselves as the most UAE’s most tech-savvy institution with the most ‘social’ student life.”
Not to be eclipsed, the university’s Twitter content has made it the UAE’s frontrunner in daily activity and followers’ growth rate. Reinforcing the evolution of social media from a purely leisure activity to an indispensable business tool, word of mouth and peer-to-peer referrals remain the most credible influencers in students’ choice of university and employers’ recruitment decisions. The UAE already has some of the region’s most influential Twitter personalities, with a staggering 5.8 million tweets posted by regional users daily. It is anticipated that the highly active student population will give the region an ever-growing share of the 150 billion total friendships and 1.13 trillion likes on Facebook.
Abu Dhabi University
The dream began with the Charter of Abu Dhabi University in the year 2000, After three years of planning, the university opened its doors in September 2003, to an entering class of 1,000 students on its two campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Unlike other colleges and universities in the UAE, ADU undertook the measures necessary to ensure that all of the degree programs it would offer had secured accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in advance of any students enrolling in them.
ADU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees based upon the American model of higher education.