First time in Abu Dhabi

MBZUAI hosts 2024 Middle East Advancement Conference to promote advancement in education

CASE MEAC Leadership Panel

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 1, 2024: More than 50 delegates from global educational institutions gathered at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence’s (MBZUAI) campus in Masdar City this week, to gain insights on strategies to improve and advance their institutions’ mission at the 2024 Middle East Advancement Conference (MEAC).

Held by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) – a global non-profit association for education professionals – and taking place in Abu Dhabi for the first time, the MEAC examined international best practices in alumni relations, career services, student recruitment, marketing and communications, to complement current approaches in university and school advancement efforts across the region. This edition of MEAC was the most diverse to date, with attendees from 11 countries.

The two-day event fostered exceptional regional engagement, featuring an array of educational leaders exploring insights and leading sessions examining best practices in advancement, the transformative impact of mentoring in alumni relations, staging successful campaigns, and developing effective international alumni advisory boards. A special closing plenary examined the impact of AI on advancement professionals working in education and the tools and resources available to shape strategic leadership decisions.  

“Through this event, CASE and MBZUAI facilitated valuable knowledge sharing and networking on important topics which will empower educational institutions to become even more effective at enhancing value for students, alumni, and faculty, as well as for the wider community,” Lea Sublett, MBZUAI’s associate director of alumni relations, CASE Laureate and MEAC 2024 co-chair, said. “We were able to demonstrate the cutting-edge work being undertaken in the UAE to foster a globally networked approach to recruitment and alumni relations, which supports a burgeoning pipeline of unique talents to fill current and future skills shortages.”

The opening leadership panel offered insights on future opportunities and challenges in the educational sector from experienced industry experts, including Professor Timothy Baldwin, MBZUAI’s acting provost; Professor Mariët Westermann, NYU Abu Dhabi’s vice chancellor; Professor Tadhg O’Donovan, Heriot-Watt University’s chief scientist and deputy vice principal of Dubai campus; and Jane Chafer, CASE’s vice president, membership, marketing, and communication.

Jane Chafer, CASE, said: “We are thrilled to have this conference back in the region as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. The energy and excitement delegates and speakers have brought to the conference is amazing. Sessions have covered many aspects of advancement, from social media to alumni engagement. The opening plenary set the scene, and leaders shared their perspectives on how advancement professionals could be successful and help institutions achieve their strategy.”


About Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)

MBZUAI is a graduate, research university focused on artificial intelligence, computer science, and digital technologies across industrial sectors. The university aims to empower students, businesses, and governments to advance artificial intelligence as a global force for positive progress. MBZUAI offers various graduate programs designed to pursue advanced, specialised knowledge and skills in artificial intelligence, including computer science, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics. For more information, please visit  


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