UAE: From Housekeeper to Team Leader, How NYUAD’s Free Education Changed the Lives of Indian Expats – News

The university’s social responsibility program offers free education and cultural classes to contract workers

Published: Sun Jun 26 2022, 4:44 PM

Last update: Sun Jun 26 2022, 4:53 PM

Acquiring English communication skills helped Indian expat, Vinay Kasturi, raise his professional profile from cleaner to team leader in the cleaning department of New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).

Thanks to the university’s social responsibility program which offers free educational and cultural courses to university contract workers, which has helped them improve their lives.

NYUAD’s Office of Social Accountability provides a comprehensive program of educational opportunities that have met the expressed educational and social needs of contract staff employed by the university and domestic workers employed by members of its community.

Since its inception in 2012, the Adult Education Program has served over 5,000 members of the University community.

Kasturi, 29, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree (BSCMPCS) in 2015 (Telugu medium), joined NYUAD as a cleaner in 2017.

“It was very difficult for me to communicate with my supervisor and colleagues. I understood English but could not answer clearly,” he said.

“I then heard about NYUAD’s Office of Social Accountability which provides English lessons, and I immediately joined.”

The Indian expat added, “I was taught English language and completed advanced and pre-intermediate levels and got a certificate. finance and photography and got two more certificates after completion.”

Kasturi noted that in 2021 he was promoted to team leader due to the communication skills he acquired.

“I strongly believe that these English lessons helped me a lot to reach this position. Now I am taking the pre-intermediate course. I am also interested in learning the Arabic language next year,” he said. declared.

“I am happy to work at NYUAD. I always advise my co-workers to use this opportunity and take free training provided by NYUAD’s Office of Social Accountability.”

Liria Gjidija, Director, Global Outreach and Programs, Department of Global Education, NYU Abu Dhabi, said adult education programs for contract staff at NYU-Abu Dhabi began with a pilot English course.

“Remaining the mainstay of our programming, English in the Workplace has since served more than 1,500 of our contract and domestic colleagues,” said Gjidija.

“Over the past decade, we have expanded our educational offerings to a comprehensive and comprehensive program that offers twelve certificate courses in various subjects, including English for the Workplace, Arabic Language, Preparatory Courses for IELTS, computer and financial literacy, public speaking, cross-cultural communication, creative writing and professional development.”

Originally developed for contract and domestic colleagues, the adult education program is now open to all members of the university community, including professors, administrative staff and researchers.

“This blended learning model allows members of our community to learn together, strengthens the social fabric of our community, and promotes an education-for-all ethos that fosters a strong sense of belonging at NYU Abu Dhabi,” said Gjidija.

Another student, Kavitha Kurup, 45, who has worked as a security guard at NYUAD since 2009, said she also took an English class and found it very helpful.

“I was offered to study an English program at NYUAD, which I completed, and I expect to get a certificate. This program really helped me a lot and improved my communication skills,” she said, adding that she plans to pursue another program.

“I would like to thank NYUAD’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program and the University’s Public Safety Department for giving us all kinds of support and encouragement,” Kurup said.

“We are all blessed to work for such an incredible institution.”


According to Gjidija, the university’s programming has responded to the expressed educational and social needs of staff hired by NYUAD and domestic workers employed by members of our community.

“It has allowed our contract staff and domestic workers to develop their professional and personal skills so that their time at NYUAD not only provides them with the opportunity to support their families, but also builds their capacity as contributing members of the NYUAD community, the UAE, and their home communities,” she said.

The university plans to launch a new mental and preventative health program next month. This will be the first time that the university’s programming will be offered in another language (Hindi).

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