The University of Kansas School of Law has partnered with the University of Sharjah Faculty of Law in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, to offer collaborative research and learning opportunities for students and faculty.
The universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will serve as a framework of cooperation. The schools pledge to cross-market their degree programs, team-teach courses, jointly sponsor professional conferences and symposia, and invite partner colleagues to lecture at their institutions. Raj Bhala, associate dean for international and comparative law at KU, and Bashar Malkawi, dean of the University of Sharjah Faculty of Law, brokered the agreement on behalf of their universities.
“The Middle East is strategically vital to the United States and to lawyers in economic, business, political, religious, cultural and national security terms,” Bhala said. “The Middle East is the center point of our national security strategy, and the biggest challenge we face is stability in the Arab-Muslim world. The core of stability is rule of law. KU Law can help enhance the rule of law in Arab countries by helping them enhance their legal education systems.”
“The University of Sharjah has always looked to partner with prominent law schools,” Malkawi said. “We are pleased to enter into partnership with a leading law school in the U.S. recognized for its research and development activities with internationally recognized faculty members. The MOU with KU Law School will help us explore new initiatives and develop areas of mutual interest to benefit students.”
KU Law students are directly benefitting from the school’s international partnerships, Bhala said. Students have interned with law firms in India, and alumni have accepted jobs in the Middle East thanks to connections forged through the school’s joint agreements.
Founded in 2001, the University of Sharjah Faculty of Law offers undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 1,600 students. Sharjah joins KU Law’s growing list of international partners committed to furthering cross-border legal education and understanding. The goal of partnership programs is to create employment opportunities for alumni, research opportunities for faculty, and academic opportunities for students of both KU Law and partner institutions.