What sets AUC apart
is its unique learning experience. And in this fast-paced era of globalization and technological advancement, learning is not confined within classroom walls, but takes up a much wider form to encompass everything around us.
Adopting this modern approach to learning, AUC teaches its students to see their surroundings as an extension of the classroom: through extracurricular activities, community-based learning courses, hands-on curricula, research, competitions, conferences, study-abroad experiences, internships, sports, the arts and a lot more. This “borderless classroom” and learning-by-doing approach — both of which we spotlight in this issue — mean that AUC students and alumni are not only knowledgeable in their academic fields, but more importantly, are actively engaged in society and the world around them. It’s an approach that not only helps build character and develops well-rounded individuals who can really make a difference, but puts AUC students ahead of the game with their competitive edge in the market.
One aspect of this approach is the University spearheading blended learning in Egypt. Collaborating with MIT and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, AUC is working to promote blended learning, one of the fastest growing educational models, capitalizing on the strengths of both online and face-to-face instruction. Video conferencing is another method of integrating technology into the classroom. Engaging in course discussions with peers across the ocean, AUC students learn new things about themselves and the world around them. In some instances, the students are actually building the technology themselves, as is the case with AUC’s FabLab, where students learn to create “almost anything.”
In addition to technology, AUC’s hands-on curricula had architecture students draw on Cairo and their own campus as field sites for their academic courses. These students not only came up with models and designs that could be applied in real life, but were able to submit their ideas to an international competition — with AUC entries representing almost a third of all submissions from Egypt! Many of the students talk about the rewarding feeling they got from their experiences as real-life architects, negotiating with clients, coming up with their own innovative solutions and presenting before a professional panel of judges. This “slice of the real world” is the type of borderless classroom that AUC students are constantly immersed in.
There’s also international exposure. Whether through study-abroad or cross-cultural programs, students are given the opportunity to explore new societies and ways of living, gaining a transformative and valuable learning experience beyond the traditional classroom.
And, of course, there are the extracurricular — or cocurricular — activities, one of the hallmarks of an AUC education. When students reflect on the numerous clubs and organizations on campus, they affirm that their participation in these student bodies has taught them everything from leadership and time management to social skills and problem solving. To encourage student participation in these activities, AUC is adopting the cocurricular transcript to certify student engagement beyond academics.
In the world we live in, many things are taking on new meanings and interpretations, and learning is no exception. We typically think of a classroom as students sitting behind desks listening to an instructor speaking. Today, the “classroom” has become the world around us, and as always, AUC is pioneering this paradigm shift in education to be more engaging, interactive and “beyond borders.”
We hope you enjoy the issue.
– Dalia Al Nimr, Editor-in-Chief