The AAU appoints a new Chair


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

HALIFAX, NS – Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) has been appointed Chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU).

The AAU is an advocacy organization working on behalf of the Presidents of the region’s 16 universities (learn more about the AAU at

Dr. Abd-El-Aziz will lead the AAU over the next two years.  He was appointed by his colleagues during the AAU’s recent annual fall meeting at Cape Breton University, Sydney, NS.

Following his appointment, Dr. Abd-El-Aziz said that the region’s university leaders are extremely heartened by the results of the AAU’s 2016 Graduate Retention Study which indicated that 87% of graduates from the region’s universities are satisfied with the quality of their education.  The study also revealed that 70% of graduates would recommend their province of study as a place to live and work.  Most notably, 75% of international student graduates would remain in their province of study after graduation if given a choice.

“These extremely positive results further confirm the high quality of our institutions and their reputation for a unique student experience which attracts local, out-of-region and international students in growing numbers.  Attraction of talented young people to the region is a major component of the federal government’s Atlantic Growth Strategy and universities have an important role to play along with our governments and the private sector to help retain students following graduation,” said Dr. Abd-El-Aziz.

Dr. Abd-El-Aziz added, “The largest program award in the country of nearly $100 million in research funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) to Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and UPEI for the Oceans Frontier Institute, is a great testimony to our universities commitment to collaboration and partnership.”  

To learn more about Dr. Abd-El-Aziz please go to:

The Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) represents the interests of universities across the region, ensuring public visibility for the important role they play in preparing future leaders of our communities, in path-breaking research and innovation, and in contributing to the economic, cultural and social prosperity of life in Atlantic Canada.  


For further information, contact:
Peter Halpin, Executive Director, AAU
(902) 425-4238/