Sharjah has always been a pioneer in culture and education
His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has transformed Sharjah into a modern oasis of social and intellectual development by opening the doors of culture, learning and literature to all who wish to learn. Under his leadership a new era has begun with the construction of many new schools, further education institutes, learning and research centres, libraries, clubs and cultural centres.
Education in the emirate started very simply with home-based Islamic studies. Between the years of 1935 and 1953 the school moved several times to end up in its present location in the Heritage Area (now the Al Eslah School Museum), becoming the first formal educational institute in Sharjah offering a larger curriculum and formal teaching arrangement.
The first newspaper in the region was launched in Sharjah in 1927 and the first cultural club, Islamic Forum, was established in 1936, followed by the Arabic Cultural Club in 1947. In 1956 Sharjah became the first emirate in the UAE to offer women an education, and in the early 1990s it was the first to run an MBA programme.
Under the directives of the Ruler of Sharjah, University City was established in 1997. Today it is one of the most advanced education centres in the Middle East anchored by the American University of Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, the Higher Colleges of Technology, the Sharjah Police Academy and the Judicial Studies and Training Institute. Students attend from all over the UAE and the wider Gulf region.
In His Highness Sheikh Sultan's own words: "Culture is the cornerstone of the growth we seek. It is that vital element that creates a balance between the cultural belonging and the spirit of the age. Culture creates a state of self-development and self-discipline and leads the human being to show the values of kindness, benevolence and brotherly relations with others. Education is the key to new horizons of development and progress".
Sharjah remains at the forefront of development through further investment in education and by building relationships with foreign universities. The list of courses available continues to expand. The emphasis on education in this emirate cannot be understated. Sharjah continues to be one of the most popular destinations for students from the region, with numbers expected to increase in the years to come.