Illustration by Katie Ferreol.

NYU Abu Dhabi Officially Named Largest Daycare in the UAE

Given the number of lost ID cards posted on the Room of Requirement every day, it is not even clear we have object permanence yet.

Apr 4, 2021

NYU Abu Dhabi is no stranger to awards, accolades and distinguishments. From its groundbreaking research to its innovative UAE Rhodes Scholar assembly line, the university has pushed the boundaries of higher education. Its most recent achievement, however, might just be its most impressive. Citing the unique relationship between NYUAD and its undergraduate population, the university has been named the country’s largest daycare.
“Our students are literal infants,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Babysitting Diepur Qainjur. “They are incredibly well-read, ambitious, sleep-deprived, full-of-themselves infants.”
Whether making ungodly amounts of noise in the middle of the night, refusing to clean up their own messes or considering the inherent destructiveness of a neoliberal world order founded on consumer capitalism, the students of NYUAD continually display developmental maturity commensurate with toddlers.
“And that’s on a good day,” commented Pauty Traynd, Class of 2023. “Given the number of lost ID cards posted on RoR [Room of Requirement] every day, it’s not even clear we have object permanence yet.”
Recognizing the fact that campus is crawling with children inhabiting the bodies of twenty-somethings, the administration has set out a series of new policies to better succeed in its role of glorified nursery. Starting next Sunday, campus-wide naptime will be enforced at 3 p.m. daily. To lull students into paying off their sleep debt, the Vice Chancellor will begin each community Zoom session by reading bedtime stories about Rembrandt followed by some improvisational ASMR.
While many students deeply appreciate such coddling, some of the most vocal community members disagree.
“It’s my right to get trapped at the Dubai border!” complained Luz Tuthe, Class of 2021. “The more this school tries to protect us from ourselves, the less we’ll end up growing.”
Whether withholding news of stipend disbursement changes until an abstract replacement regime could be announced, or not publicizing the rationale for sudden policy shifts, students often feel spoken down to and not trusted to think as the functional adults they are boasted about as by NYUAD Public Affairs.
“Also, I waited 18 years to finally have a bedroom where I was allowed to lock my door,” explained Tuthe. “But SERCO isn’t my mom. They shouldn’t get to walk in whenever they want.”
At NYUAD, students exist in a quantum superposition between kindergartener and postdoc. Their — lack of — development manifesting in unpredictable and surprising ways, the university has adapted to serve the lowest common denominator of undergraduate maturity.
“I call it the dialectic of infantilization,” explained Associate Professor of Anthropology Gro Upalredi. “Mistrust and condescension from faculty and admin forms a mutually constitutive and co-perpetuating relationship with the institution’s trademark characteristic: students acting like whining babies.”
Ian Hoyt is a Satire Columnist. Email him at
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