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Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi grants inaugural degrees

The Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, a branch of France’s prestigious university, has organised its first graduation ceremony four years after its launch in the UAE. In a country where English is the second language, the project is bold move.

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The Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi held its maiden graduation ceremony Sunday, awarding Bachelor and Masters Degrees.

The international agreement between the prestigious French University La Sorbonne and the government of Abu Dhabi was signed on 19, February, 2006. Four years on, around 180 students from 40 different countries received their bachelor and masters degrees, as well as qualifications in the French language. All of the qualifications have been validated by the prestigious Sorbonne University of Paris.

However, being a Sorbonne student in Abu Dhabi is seen as something for the privileged few. The Abu Dhabi branch has less than 500 students despite its capacity for 2,000.

In a country where English is the second language, opening a French-speaking university is an ambitious project. The younger generation are more familiar with the Anglophone education system, explains Nour Tarabishi, a graduate from the class of 2010 in Abu Dhabi. “I chose La Sorbonne because it is a modern university; it represents French culture and civilization. But I have to be honest, here the second language is English, we have to improve our French to be accepted at La Sorbonne.”

La Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi provides programmes in humanities and law and, "all the academic programmes are exactly the same as the ones offered by the university in Paris”, Professor Georges Molini, president of La Sorbonne in France, told FRANCE 24.

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