Old Schools and Senate House, University of Cambridge

Partnership to focus on sustainability, education, Islamic art and culture

The University of Cambridge is in talks with the United Arab Emirates about a potential strategic partnership. These ongoing conversations have emerged from a shared commitment to creating a more sustainable future by helping to solve some of the greatest challenges facing our planet.

This collaboration is designed to develop innovative solutions that enable the transition away from fossil fuels; the continued development of high quality teaching and learning; the ongoing progression of social cohesion through the study of arts and culture; and the advancement of globally competitive research, education, and entrepreneurship

A University spokesperson said: ‘This is an exciting and unique opportunity for world-leading collaborations on efforts to transform economies and societies. The potential partnership will help prepare education systems for a radically changing labour market, promote greater global understanding through appreciation for Islamic art and culture, and develop innovative technological solutions to the challenges facing our planet, helping the transition away from fossil fuels.’

The United Arab Emirates is a regional and international hub for collaboration in research, art, education and business, in areas as diverse as Mars exploration and celebrating emerging Arab artists. One of the world’s largest investors in renewable energy such as solar power, it has bid to host COP28 with a focus on building sustainable economies.

The University of Cambridge and the UAE share an ambition to fight climate change and create sustainable solutions that will help the global economy transition away from fossil fuels. We are excited about the prospect of our students and researchers benefiting from these new connections and perspectives.

The three initial areas of discussions will focus on:


The potential partnership will research and pioneer new ways of moving progressively towards a post-fossil fuel economy and embracing the fourth industrial revolution. A sustainable futures research programme will start with work to advance manufacturing, urban infrastructure and resource management. 


The potential partnership will focus collaboratively on early years education, teacher education, Arabic literacy and blended learning, with a view to developing robust, resilient and coherent systems that can support a 21st-century labour market.

Arts and culture

The potential partnership will collaboratively seek to strengthen global understanding of Islamic art and culture, and support the long-term resilience of cultural institutions in both countries for greater social cohesion.


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