mentoring/counselling/peer support programmes to support students, staff, faculty from underrepresented groups

Personal Counseling

Creating and maintaining a healthy balance between your academics and personal life can be a stressful experience. Our Student Counselor is here to guide you through this process and help you overcome challenges, find clarity, build resilience, and reach your goals. She has professional experience and training and is committed to a strengths-based, solution-focused, and multicultural approach to allow you to fully benefit from your university experience and become the best version of yourself.

Common issues university students face include stress, anxiety, time-management, motivation, self-esteem, life transitions, and identity development. With personal counselling, you are given a safe and nonjudgmental environment to discuss, understand, and effectively handle these issues, and any others. While counselling is offered, referrals are provided if further or long-term services are needed. All sessions are strictly confidential.

Academic Accommodations/Accessibility Services

At Canadian University Dubai, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for students of determination and students with disabilities. If you have a documented physical disability, psychological condition, learning difficulty, chronic illness, or other barrier to your learning, you are eligible for academic accommodations.

We work closely and with absolute confidentiality with students to accommodate their individual needs and ensure they have equal opportunity to reach their maximum potential. Academic accommodations include exam scheduling and time limit extensions, note-taking support, learning resources, and a distraction-reduced environment. These are handled on a case-by-case basis that takes into account the student’s unique needs and the course or programmes learning objectives.

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Students at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have received an inspirational talk from paralyzed athlete, Mr. Chris Khoury, about the importance of positivity and inner strength in day-to-day life.

Khoury, who was paralyzed from the chest down following a motocross accaident in 2009, visited CUD in his capacity as an ambassador for the Wing for Life campaign, a non-profit research foundation that aims to find a cure for spinal cord-related disabilities.

Speaking about his life-changing accident, Khoury said that he made a conscious decision early on to adopt a positive attitude and seize every opportunity that came his way.

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During Covid-19 pandemic, Canadian University Dubai, are thinking heavily about our responsibility as an educator. We are thinking about the impact on our students and members near and far and on our role to help navigate and rise above this impact. We echo His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s sentiments when he says, “Education Never Stops”, and we are compelled to look for ways to be flexible and accessible in our part to encourage the pursuit of higher education. Together, we can continue to inspire minds and transform lives.

We are offering counselling services online or over the telephone for students who are experiencing anxiety, fear, or depression during this time. We have connected with travelling students to provide reassurance and guidance where we can. For students with disabilities, we have provided accessible accommodations as they adapt to online learning, and we have delivered self-care packages, containing food items and sanitation products, to all students in dorms.

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As part of CUD’s community engagement, we have teamed up with the LINK Organization. The LINK,’ is a non-profit UAE initiative providing an active community platform where women from different ages and backgrounds can find support to advance professionally and to share workplace challenges.

After hosting the Induction Session, CUD has started its sixth cohort of the programmes. Professors from the University including Ms. Orsi, Dr. Louise, Ms. Dima and Dr. Fran have offered their services as Mentors and are then matched up through the LINK organization who then allocates them to Mentees according to their needs.

The LINK aims to empower women through learning and developmental initiatives, nurturing female talent and strengthening their leadership capacity. Ultimately, the LINK’s vision is to encourage and support women in different stages of their lives and careers.

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Canadian University Dubai students have started a campaign called #SheforShe, which aims to not only draw attention to the popular global campaign #HeforShe, but also aims to highlight the need for women to support each other in order to achieve their goals for gender equality. The students, who are both male and female, decided to start the campaign as part of their Media Impact class with Dr. Franziska Apprich.

During a class discussion the students realized that there are large gaps when it comes to women helping women achieve their goals. “There’s a lot of negative energy between women,” explains student Ulla Al-Jabri. “In many ways we put each other down through judgement, competition, nasty comments, and we don’t support each other to achieve our goals. #HeforShe is great, but it we felt that it also needed to encompass women supporting women”.

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May 16th, 2019: Following the successful gala event, 'Music is our Voice', which brought together people of determination and the local school community in a spectacular celebration of music, Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Chancellor, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, has spoken to Edarabia about the institution's actions towards promoting inclusion.

Why did CUD organize a music gala for people of determination? Would this be a yearly event?

The event was organized as part of the University’s ongoing endeavors to promote inclusion, understanding and coexistence, in the spirit of the UAE Year of Tolerance. Since 2017 we have seen the Canadian University Dubai EnSEmble grow and flourish into an extraordinary realization of individual and collective talent. We wanted to share that talent with our local community to mark Autism Awareness month.

We know from our work with people of determination that awareness and inclusion across wider society remain among the biggest challenges they face in everyday life. Canadian University Dubai wanted to bring people together in an inclusive celebration of music to help further advance the conversation about autism in the UAE; to change the discourse into concrete action and progress across every aspect of society – from education and employment to cultural and social interactions. The gala was also hosted as a fundraising event, to help support therapy, care and community initiatives for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have been delighted by the response and similar future events.

Studies suggest that sports are associated not only with social inclusion, but also with physical wellbeing and the enhancement of self-esteem. Does music have the same effect?

Absolutely, music is by definition inclusive, without boundaries, music does not discriminate against anyone. Numerous studies have shown that the effect of music on confidence levels and self-esteem is significant. For instance, music has helped young people in conflict areas to cope with stress. In other contexts, music has given young refugees a voice allowing them to be active participants in society. Music has had, over the history of mankind, an incredible unifying and healing power.

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April 18th, 2019: Canadian University Dubai marked International Autism Awareness Month and UAE’s Year of Tolerance with a unique musical celebration last evening at Dubai Opera uniting the musical talents of people of determination and Mohammed Assaf, in an awe-inspiring gala event.

The audience of the enchanting event titled ‘Music is Our Voice’ enjoyed the incredible musical talents of the enSEmble choir and Mohammed Assaf’s captivating performance. Assaf’s inspirational story of overcoming challenges to realize his musical dream was a fitting accompaniment to the young singing stars of Canadian University Dubai’s enSEmble choir.

Speaking about Music is Our Voice event, Mohammed Assaf, said: “This has been a heart-warming and an empowering experience. Being able to sing along with these outstanding determined talents was an uplifting moment in my career, and I’m proud to be supporting this worthy cause.”

Celebrating the unifying power of music, the gala event was organised by Canadian University Dubai to mark International Autism Awareness Month and to contribute to promoting inclusion and understanding as part of the UAE Year of Tolerance. Music is Our Voice was also proud to host the renowned Emirati vlogger, Khalid Al Ameri who delivered a touching speech on change, awareness and inclusion.

The concert brought together a diverse audience of people of determination, their families and support networks, as well as members of the wider UAE community. In partnership with the Emirates Red Crescent humanitarian organisation, all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Autism Awareness campaign.

According to Autism Speaks diagnosis has risen 15% in the past few years through improved identification from awareness, research and support services. The event is part of the global campaign to raise awareness of the condition and to promote understanding across the wider community of the special needs and talents of people on the spectrum.

For further information about Canadian University Dubai, please visit: http://www.cud.ac.ae

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September 27, 2018; Dubai EnSENble is the UAE’s first choir for the ‘Determined Ones’ are now based in CUD.

The choir was founded by Mr. Rivaan Mager, Music Coordinator and Mr. Dusan Popovic, Sports Coordinator both employers at CUD. They have a passion for working with the people with determination and try to help their various challenges through their shared love of music.

There are also many volunteers who help out, some of them being ‘speech therapists or behavior therapists, all giving freely of their time to ensure the success of the choir.

The choir started in September 2017 and hosted their inaugural concert on November 24th 2017. This saw a full house at the CUD Red Theatre. The concert was the first of its kind in the UAE, and also featured the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert was a huge success and generated great emotion from the audience.

The choir has performed at various venues, including Global Village, MENA Special Needs Olympics in Abu Dhabi and they even had the opportunity to collaborate with leading schools in Dubai.

This year the choir has many events planned over the next 10 months, they will host their annual gala concert on 23rd November 2018 at 5pm at the Canadian University Dubai. The UAE Philharmonic will once again perform at this prestigious concert. There will also be guest performers from the “Which School Advisor” musician of the year competition and choirs from schools around Dubai.

The choir will also be performing at the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The Canadian University Dubai has been an integral part of the choir’s success, and they support the choir fully and have dedicated a ‘music studio’ for the choir to rehearse weekly. The university also has a passion towards inclusion through music.

The choir is free to join and is always welcoming new members to be part of this choir family. Through our passion for music, we want to show the UAE community that music unites everyone irrespective of our personal challenges in life. The choir rehearses every Thursday at the Canadian University Dubai from 4:30pm-5:30pm.

In addition to coordinating music in CUD, Mr. Rivaan also undertakes peripatetic work in other schools with Determined Ones among their pupils.

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April being the international month of Autism Awareness, Canadian University Dubai is taking the opportunity to play its part in the awareness-raising efforts of this important global campaign.

Having a very special group of talented musicians, we feel it is only fair to give back and share the joy that our choir brings; Canadian University Dubai presents ‘Music is Our Voice’, a concert highlighting the musical talents of people of determination.

We are proud to present this event in the amazing Dubai Opera on Wednesday April 17, where we can share this extraordinary night with parents, guests and fans, while giving these superstars the prestigious stage they deserve.

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The students behind the new Emirati sign-language app, Efhamni, have received a major boost in their plan to support the UAE deaf community, with a $7,000 award to scale their social enterprise from the Coca-Cola Foundation and INJAZ Al-Arab. The award follows the recent announcement of winners in the Ripples of Happiness university competition, a community initiative under which the innovation was developed.

The team of students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) was the only group to represent the UAE in the region-wide initiative, and secured second place overall in the six-week program, attracting funding equivalent to more than AED 25,000 to help further develop and mainstream their app.

The technology was created in association with the UAE Deaf Association and the Kalimati Speech and Communication Center. It specifically aims to support Emiratization among hearing impaired citizens, helping them to access better education and employment opportunities by teaching them, their family, friends and colleagues, how to communicate effectively through Emirati sign language.

The app was unveiled to over 100 stakeholders at a recent public launch event. Speaking at the event, member of the Efhamni project management team, Craig Muyambo, said, “Our aim is to contribute to the UAE in two ways: by preserving its history through the Emirati language, heritage and dialect, and by building its future by engaging all sectors of society in a single community, connected by a common language.”

The financial boost comes as a result of the interest and impact the team generated for the app during the Ripples of Happiness competition. Sulaf Saleh Al Zu’bi, CEO of INJAZ UAE, said, “It was an inspiring journey giving students the opportunity to create and discover their talents applied in this program and remarkable software application. The Efhamni app can touch many hearts, helping engage people with hearing disabilities more easily, and making the use of sign language for the community around them more mainstream.”

Facilitated by Mr. Mohsin Harris of INJAZ UAE, the team received intensive mentoring support from two volunteers from the business community. Ms. Sveccha Kumar and Mr. Youshey Zakiuddin brought their experience of corporate social responsibility initiatives at telecoms firm, du, to help the students to identify and address a distinct community need.

The team also benefitted from the ongoing support of CUD Assistant Professor, Jeanette Teh, who said, “I am extremely proud of how much the students have accomplished in a short amount of time and how hard they have worked. Through this project, they have learned the importance of teamwork, planning, research, communication, and even diplomacy, all of which will help them in their future careers. It has been an incredible journey, full of challenging lessons, not just for the students, but also for us the mentors.

“I would like to thank INJAZ Al Arab and Coca-Cola Foundation for organizing this wonderful competition, which has taught our students so much about launching a socially responsible business, but perhaps, more importantly, that they can make a difference.”

The team has already held discussions with the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research around how the app can help in promoting access to education among the deaf community. Nérimel Bessa, another member of the Efhamni project management team said, “We are excited to embark upon this social enterprise and with the award from the Coca-Cola Foundation and INJAZ Al Arab, we can start to empower the deaf community by employing members to support in the ongoing development of the app.”

In addition to the community benefits that the app is expected to generate, the process has also been a rewarding experience for the entire team involved, and for the student behind the technology itself, engineering major, Omar Sharif Zakaria, it has opened the door to an exciting new project.

Omar said, “Based on my work on Efhamni I have been approached by one of Dubai’s leading real estate developers to work on the creation of an app that will give them a new platform to engage with their customers.”

Omar plans to take on the new project, while continuing to offer his free time to support the continual development of Efhamni. As for the enterprise itself, Nérimel concluded, “We know that we will need a lot more support along the way – both technically and financially – but this award has given us a great platform to move forward with our aim to make Emirati sign-language a mainstream form of communication for citizens and residents of the UAE, and also to provide a gateway for visitors to the country to learn the Arabic language.”

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