The American University in Dubai (AUD) and the Spanish Government represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) - Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of supporting Spanish studies pertaining to language, culture and literature at AUD.
The agreement, signed by the Ambassador of Spain to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Mr. José Eugenio Salarich Fernández de Valderrama, the Director of Cultural and Scientific Relations, Ms. Miren Itziar Taboada Aquerreta, at the Spanish Agency For International Cooperation and Development and Dr. Lance E. de Masi, AUD President, intends to contribute to academic and institutional development as well as to promote the Spanish language, generating knowledge and fostering cultural rapprochement with the UAE.
As part of the agreement, selected Spanish language lecturers from Spain will be recruited as instructors at AUD. “AUD has been teaching Spanish since 1996, and this will be the second lector in our history. This addition to our faculty provides an opportunity to enrich our pedagogical effectiveness. The attention we pay to this endeavor is justified by the position of Spanish as the world's second international language,” commented Dr. de Masi.
The agreement, is not limited to course work alone, as it targets the enhancement of cultural understanding; lecturers will also be expected to assume cultural duties as representative of their country.
“I have to say that this is a very forward looking project. It is not only about the signature of an agreement or collaboration between the university and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to provide lecturers on the Spanish language; I think this goes much further, it is a long term collaboration. It will open the door for future collaborations, and not only with the American University in Dubai but with other UAE universities for Spain to promote its language, its culture, its literature – this is something of the highest priority and this is part of the relations between the UAE and Spain. So this agreement has a much bigger projection and I am very happy, I am very proud to have signed it,” commented H.E. Mr. de Valderrama.
This agreement is the culmination of previous successful collaborations with AUD and as the Ambassador explained, the first one of its type made with any institution in the UAE. The agreement is projected to further strengthen the Spanish elective course, which by far is the most popular foreign language course offered on campus.