The College of Business Administration (CoBA) is one of the oldest and largest colleges in the University of Sharjah, established by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and the Member of the Supreme Council of Rulers of UAE. CoBA began its journey in the academic session of 1997-1998 with 160 students. Since then, the college has been taking purposeful strides in delivering quality education and creating the next generation of industry-ready leaders.
Currently, CoBA offers an extensive list of programs for undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA and DBA students. The teaching and research cover six main subject areas: Accounting (ACCA, CIMA CPA Australia and ICAEW recognized), Finance (CFA recognized Program), Management, Marketing, Business Information Systems, Supply Chain Management, and Human Resource Management.
With the new session just around the corner, CoBA has a lot in store for its students. “This year, we plan to advance CoBA even further, in terms of student-centred learning, high-level research, business and community engagement, building partnerships with industry at multiple levels, and building new centres of excellence and forging international collaborations,” shares Prof. Dima Rachid Jamali, Dean, CoBA.
What makes CoBA Unique?
CoBA has a diverse team of 37 full-time and highly-qualified faculty who bring vast years of experience and modern teaching approaches to the table. The student body is also internationally diverse, with 53% being Emirati and the remainder made up of students from other GCC countries (7%), other Arab countries (27%) and 13% from elsewhere. Additionally, CoBA has set up extensive scholarship programs for undergraduate (High school discount & distinction discount), graduate (Competitive Graduate Scholarships), and PhD levels.
The Sharjah-based college also holds a ‘Leadership Symposium’ intended to engage top-calibre business leaders to share their insights and experiences on leadership with the students. In terms of resources, CoBA hosts an excellent learning environment with state-of-the-art lecture theatres, multiple syndicate rooms, high-quality labs, and other learning spaces for students and staff. Likewise, students have access to impressive library facilities, research databases, online journals, and other leading information services.
Enlightening Entrepreneurial Spirit in Students
CoBA offers a university-wide compulsory course titled “Fundamentals of Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, developed with Stanford University. This experiential learning course helps students develop practical entrepreneurial skills based on design-thinking methodology, devise innovative solutions, develop prototypes, and test their ideas with potential customers.
Since the previous academic year, the college has also held many major inter-disciplinary events and competitions that are all intended to maximize student engagement through innovative and practical activities, namely the annual ‘Sharjah Chamber Award for Innovators’ and the ‘Innovator Competition’ designed in collaboration with the industry partner, Innovation Box.
“Moreover, several of our CoBA students have participated in EXPO 2020, whose aim was to accelerate progress on 2030 agenda, get the youth involved, and raise awareness on the SDGs,” proudly shares Prof. Dima. Altogether, CoBA’s mission statement reflects its commitment to entrepreneurship education and is well in sync with the national strategy of the UAE government.
Innovation at the Heart of the Learning System
According to Prof. Dima, innovation is one of the cornerstones of the learning system at CoBA. In a similar vein, CoBA’s curriculum is innovation-driven and entails the current market ethos of innovation. The faculty follows a learner-centred innovative pedagogy focusing on harnessing technology and embedding key competencies in their students.
CoBA has organized the International Innovation Forum (Sponsored by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry) and International Forum on Sustainable Development and Sustainable Innovations (In collaboration with the College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts and Design) for the last two years. Through these forums, students get an opportunity to think outside of the box, come up with creative solutions, and also seek rewards.
Nurturing Global Collaborations
Since its inception, CoBA has formed collaborations, partnerships, and signed MoUs with reputed universities, colleges, and industries. Few of its current collaborators are the University of Arizona, USA, and the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. CoBA has also signed MoUs with Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia and the Hague University of Applied Science, Netherlands.
Likewise, students have recently completed their internships at CoBA’s partner organizations such as Air Arabia, Central Bank of the UAE, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Dubai Financial Market, Ernst & Young, Etihad Airways, Etisalat, Government of Sharjah, KPMG, Microsoft, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Paris Gallery, Securities and Commodities Authority, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, and Sharjah City Municipality.
Commenting on the importance of forming global collaborations, Prof. Dima says, “CoBA has long emphasized the importance of building strong links with private and public sector enterprises at the local, regional, and global levels, and we aim to continue to broaden and strengthen these relationships in the coming years too,”
Rankings & Accreditations
In 2021, CoBA was ranked 3rd in the UAE by the Times Higher Education World University and 431 Worldwide in Business & Economics Related topics. Currently, CoBA ranks 2nd in the UAE and between 300 and 400 worldwide in Business & Economics Related topics. Moreover, the University of Sharjah has also advanced from rank 177 to 89 in the Times Higher Education Ranking for 2022, joining the club of the best 100 young Universities in the World.
“We are in the top 5% of business schools globally, having achieved accreditation from the US Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Ministry of Higher Education in the UAE,” asserts Prof. Dima.
Pre-& Post-Pandemic Strategies
The past two years have been extremely challenging for the global education system, one of them being the transition from classroom to online mode. However, the technological infrastructure at the University of Sharjah was already developed even before the pandemic, so CoBA’s transition was not a hindrance. Students, faculty members, and administrative staff were given emergency training, regular exams were conducted as per schedule, and results were declared online. All thanks to UAE’s effective pandemic crisis management, foreign students were able to join the spring session of 2020-2021 at CoBA.
For the upcoming years, CoBA has already started implementing key initiatives such as updating curriculum and learning pedagogy, enhancing students’ engagement activities, and intensifying global partnerships according to the strategic 2020-2024 plan. “My aim as the Dean is to consolidate CoBA’s position as the Top Business School in the Arab Region,” states Prof. Dima.
For More Info: https://www.sharjah.ac.ae/en/academics/Colleges/business/Pages/default.aspx