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Abu Dhabi Prepares to Close GAF Program

After assisting students for the past five years across all fields of academics, NYU Abu Dhabi will end its GAF program at the end of the academic year. Charles Grim, th Vice Provost for Academic Administration told The Gazelle  (NYU Abu Dhabis student newspaper), that the program since its conception was regarded as  a temporary measure that would eventually be replaced.According to Grim, the decision to discontinue the program largely resulted from the schools increase in size.

In order to continue supporting its studentsacademic success, NYU Abu Dhabi will instate a new academic support program. The new academic support instructors will be offered three-year contracts (compared to the current one-year contract model), and all new instructors will be required to have postgraduate degrees. Additionally, the programs structure will shift so that instructors are responsible not to a central administration, but separate divisions of deans and members of the faculty.

Grim explained to The Gazelle that the degree requirement for the instructors will allow students to receive better upper level academic support. At the same time, the extended contracts will reduce the financial burden of training new academic support instructors and allow the new instructors to fully adapt to the new teaching job.

Currently, NYU Abu Dhabi GAFs not only provide specialized academic support, but also assist in conventional academic responsibilities, such as improving studentsgeneral writing abilities. Under the new system, instructors will be regulated under decentralized departments, and whether or not they will continue to provide general support or will transition to a more specialized form of academic assistance has not been determined.

Grim has informed OCA that instructors for the next academic year will be a mix of current GAFs, applicants with higher degrees, and graduates from NYU Abu Dhabi. The administration is still determining the specific number of instructors employed next year, but anticipate that the number will remain similar to that of the current GAF program. NYU Abu Dhabis science division had already transitioned from the GAF program as of last year, and currently holds more instructors this year than when operating under the GAF program.

Despite the administrations statement that this change will only further support student learning, some Abu Dhabi students worry that the change will render academic support less accessible than under the current GAF program.

Over 6,000 kilometers away, NYU Shanghais GAF program shows no signs of slowing. When asked by On Century Avenue if the NYU Shanghai GAFs can expect a similar fate, the administration confirmed that the program in Shanghai will continue unaffected by the changes in Abu Dhabi.


This article was written by Elizabeth LeClaire. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai via shanghai.nyu.edu

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