Priorities:Abu Dhabi University Student Priorities

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Strategy Priority #1: Innovation Community


The innovation community is about gathering together inspiring students on campus. These students along with the UIF fellows believe in developing and improving the innovation culture at Abu Dhabi University. We aim to spread innovative knowledge through these students to further share it with their circle of friends and so on to widen the community through word of mouth and welcome new members on board. The purpose of this community is that students can relate, ideate and design solutions to problems from different colleges.

Team leader on task: Haleema Mulla Bakhsh

Tactic #1: Community of Inspiration

1-Looking out for these inspiring students? Approach students asking them about an inspiring personnel in their surrounding on campus who they might look up to for advice, suggestions and so on. The inspiration doesn’t necessarily need to be related to good academic performance only.

2-Collaborate with Innovative faculty members on preparing modules, tips on innovation. Moreover, get approval for allowing Video conference from where the speaker is visiting at the Innovation Centre which is at a different campus for students who are not at the same campus to also be a part of the event.

Time frame: 01/2019

3. Calling on these inspiring students to join an innovation community. From the very start of the training program, we are asked to find students with inspiring stories and I used the lesson I learned from there that I need to compliment and appreciate people for their achievements. Now email them individually to congratulate them for being an inspiration to others. During the prototype in Session 4 the test responded positively and was ready the support the innovation community.

4-To secure an available room for workshop and apply request through the student affairs department and the Innovation Centre. Alternatively, students sometimes cannot commit to attending workshops, so the modules need to be concise to share them on WhatsApp and social media.

5- Equipment for workshop to have hands on experience, request for funding if necessary to purchase these materials.

6-Call on volunteers or University Innovation Fellows to support the innovation community when conducting the workshop in a gathering and assist in recording feedback and registering attendees.

Time frame: 02/2019

Key metrics   

  • Number of members        
  • Number of referrals through existing members         
  • Number of students from each colleg

Strategy Priority #2: Encourage a Growth Mindset Environment

Sparking interest: The short workshop series

We would like to change the attitude students have towards their daily activities and help them shape and extend the way they utilize their talents and skill-based qualities to realize opportunities in their environment. In order to accomplish this, we need to create an interest in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and make students realize that Innovation is not bound to any major.
We will be sparking interest through a series of student-led, short pop-up Inspire and Connect teaser activities, which will be held throughout the university. These activities will be between 20- 40 minutes long and rotate between different times, days and locations, to maximize exposure. These activities are designed to provoke students’ interest while having fun. Inspire and Connect will be sparking interest, in support of larger, more in-depth events held by the Innovation Center and increase student attendance at these events. Activities include Makespace challenges, design thinking race, interesting facts on start-ups, problem-solving workshops, think tank to shark tank etc.

Team leader on task: Betty Lucille Hillebrand

Tactic #1: Inspire and connect pop-up workshop series

1.1 Gather all planned/ scheduled events, workshops and activities from all departments in one database.
1.2 Collaborate with all student clubs to design and execute I&E games, challenges, and activities that will encourage attendance at larger Innovation             Center events

1.3 Obtain or assign students responsible to conduct workshops, inclusive of the male campus. (Innovation Ambassadors/creators)

1.4 Create and effective communication platform – Strategic priority 4

1.5 Source needed materials and funds
1.6 Obtain faculty and administrative feedback and support

Timeframe: February 2019

Tactic #2: Let's talk business

2.1 Organise TEDX talks with local SMB owners, life coaches and motivational speakers

2.2 Organise events with local business groups. 

Timeframe: February 2019

Tactic #3: Think tank to Shark tank

3.1 Hold 2-3 day challenge: One day to find a solution, one day to pitch your idea.

Timeframe: April 2019

Tactic #4: Easy Business info sessions

4.1 Provide students with current, easy to follow basic business information. Information from personal finance ( how to manage your money) to information on SME, Family business and Global business.

Timeframe: September 2019

Strategic Priority #3: Generating Interest of the students in innovation


Throughout our research process for the landscape canvas, it was evident that students don’t get benefits of the resources provided by the university to encourage innovation. So, one of the main strategic priorities is to improve the innovation culture of students at ADU; that is, generating more interest in Innovation and Entrepreneurship without the use of additional resources. Given that, a resource that is available to all students is an Innovation and Entrepreneurship course and will be used for this strategy. 

Team leader on task: Sarah Eladly


Creating a network of students who took this course and are encouraged to teach it to their friends who haven't. As we believe that our students may not be interested enough to enroll into innovation courses, peer mentoring can be a great opportunity to generate interest and knowledge about innovation among students and would help us enlarge the community of innovators.

key steps 

1- Targeting students who have taken or still taking the I&E course to teach it to others.

2- Preparing workshops for those students for techniques to teach this course and customizing it to fit each major. 

Timeframe: December 2018

Strategic Priority #4: Strengthen Communication (Information Wall)


After conducting the landscape canvas of our university, we realized that we have a gap of communication between the university and the students. There are many events on our campus that students barely hear about or notice. We believe communication is crucial when it comes to improving the student university experience as it helps them get the best of the resources provided on campus. Currently, the university advertises events on a TV in the corridor as rolling pictures. They also provide flyers and emails for some of the events. However, students are complaining that they don’t hear about those events happening beforehand. Therefore, the idea of an information wall that no one can miss emerged. The wall will be interactive, providing students with the opportunity to rate the events and give their feedback/ideas. There will be a clear noticeable countdown to upcoming events. This was the approach we proposed and developed according to students’ preferences and suggestions throughout the process of our prototyping.

Team leader on task: Basant Helal


Get more information from students about what they would like to be on that wall and how interactive they would like it. Start by a normal board where students can provide feedback and drop their ideas and rate events Secure funding and resources needed to provide the right wall (at a place where everyone can see it and stop by it) and the LCD with the videos/announcements on it. Get students feedback about the usefulness of the information wall and analyze the change it caused on our communication system (i.e. whether students will then be aware of the events happening and if enough of them are attending)

Timeframe: January 2019

Strategy Priority #5: I & E Workshop and Methods of Advertising


While studying the landscape canvas of our university, we discovered that students usually did not attend events about I and E organised on-campus. Our campus analysis together with various interviews with the faculty led us to the conclusion that:

1-We don’t have a strong innovation culture at our university.

2-And, that the communication between the university and the students regarding upcoming events, is not that strong.  

Recently, the innovation centre at our university organized a 3D printing workshop for students to familiarize them with the idea of 3D printing. Surprisingly, this time the room was full of students to such extent that we ran out of chairs! Hence, for my prototype, I saw this event as an opportunity to study the circumstances that led to this workshop being a ‘house full’.

Team leader on task: Ayesha Zahid


1-Study the methods used to advertise the workshop by the faculty in-charge. The faculty used university TV screens, university e-mails, university apps and university social media pages to announce about this upcoming workshop.

2-Interview Dr. Petra from the innovation centre regarding the 3D printing workshop.

3-Discover if there were other departments involved besides the innovation centre. An architecture department Professor gave the tutorial on 3D printing along with displaying 3D printed models from the ‘architecture students projects archives.’

4-Check if any student-based clubs are involved in advertising or promoting the event. Student-based group called the architecture association helped promote the workshop through their own social media pages, Instagram and snapchat, along with verbal announcements and WhatsApp messages.

5-Interview the president of the architecture association regarding the 3D printing workshop.

6-Attend the workshop to record and document the whole event.

7-Get feedback from students who attended the workshop, regarding how successful the workshop was in terms of educating them about 3D printing. Moreover, get students feedback on how they heard about the workshop (i.e. what methods of advertising did they hear from about the workshop).

8-Reflect on how the review from students and the interview from Dr. Petra and Architecture Association President, can help us in devising solutions for the problems faced in our ecosystem. 

Tactic #1: Have hands-on activities that encourage innovation rather than speeches and talks that majority of students don’t attend.

1-Get in touch with the different student clubs at the university including the innovation club. Talk to the presidents of the club to encourage hands-on activities at club fairs and event days. 

2-People to meet: - Presidents of different student clubs

  -Student support services office at the university to request for hosting student activity events.

  -Students that need to be made aware about innovation.

  -Finance departments to request funding for new events.

  -University Administration for approval of new events.

Time frame: Hands-on activities about I and E- 2 weeks

Tactic #2: Encourage Professors to announce upcoming events during their classes before they start their lectures.

1-Meet Professors in their offices to introduce to them our tactic. Request the innovation centre to directly email the professors regarding upcoming events.

2-People to meet: - Professors of different departments.

                               - Dr. Petra from innovation centre

                               - The deans of different colleges for their approval on the tactic.

Time frame: Professors announcing upcoming events before lectures- 1 week

Tactic #3: Have more student-based groups at the university, that understand at a deeper level of how university students function and what are their needs as students. 

1-Gather the active and outgoing students and encourage them to find a purpose on-campus. Assist them to make a club to achieve their purpose. Encourage them to use ‘empathy’ to understand other students’ perspectives and needs. Meet the student support services at the university to promote student-based groups and fund these groups. 

2-People to meet: - Academic excelling Students

                                - Alumni or older club presidents to train new students on how to run clubs and student associations.

                                - Student support services offices to assist student-based groups for hosting student engagement events.

                                - Finance departments to request funding for new events.

                                - University Administration for approval of new events.

Time frame: Student-based groups - Spring 2018/2019

Strategy priority #6: Expanding the I&E Spirit on campus

Peers play a significant role on campus. They have the ability to influence the behavior and attitude of other students. Empowering and encouraging students can have a positive impact in bringing up the true spirit of innovation. Students taking the lead can help expand the I&E spirit on campus. Providing them with the knowledge and sufficient resources can make a huge change. Students are usually observed to be more open with their peers, expressing simple ideas and thoughts of value. 


Team Leaders on Task: Saleha Muhammad and Eman Ali 

Tactic #1: Student Led Events 

1.1 Bring together student leaders who are ready to take up this as a challenge and educate peers about innovation and how to be creative with limited resources.

1.2 Mentors to supervise the event plan and advice leaders about the content that they will be explaining to the students.

1.3 Once the plan is ready to execute, Student affair can help assist the students.


Timeframe: November 2018


Tactic #2: ADU Inno-space (Makerspace) 

2.1: Allocating a free space for students.

2.2: Giving them the freedom to renovate the space with their ideas and creativity.

2.3: Providing them with a budget to get the needed resources.

2.3 Allowing a space for brainstorming and round table conference.

Timeframe: December 2018

Tactic #3: Inno- talkvation (by Alumni)

3.1: Inviting successful graduates as guest speakers.

3.2: Encouraging students to have an open discussion.

3.3: Providing students with an insight into the entrepreneurial mindset.


Timeframe: December 2018


Strategy priority #7: Promoting Startups

After viewing our landscape canvas, we found out that there are very few or no startups by the students. Usually, after students graduate, they are then engaged with startups. The university can encourage students to have their own startups, by providing them with the right platform and resources. Student startups are not only essential but also necessary, this inspires and encourages other students to do the same.

Team Leader on Task: Saleha Muhammad 

Tactic #1: Open Market Day

1.1: Providing an opportunity to the students to openly sell their self-designed product or service.

1.2: Assigning a group of judges to evaluate students’ offerings.

1.3: Awarding the best offering and advising other groups on how they can improve in the event. 

'Timeframe: April, '2019


Tactic #2: Innovation Fair

2.1: Calling out students from different colleges to come up with their innovative ideas.

2.2: Lending them the required fund to carry out their project (idea).

2.3: Holding an open event to showcase their innovation.


Timeframe: Febrauary, 2019


Tactic #3: EXPRESS UP!

3.1: Inviting CEOs' of various local/International companies.

3.2: Students to express their prototypes in the related field.

3.3: Companies can partner with students in bringing their prototypes to life.

'Timeframe: March, '2019