Job Title: Head of Internal Audit

Location: The Africa Institute, Global Studies University, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Expected Starting Date: For immediate hire

Job Status: Full time

Application Deadline: The position is open until filled

About The Africa Institute, Global Studies University

The Africa Institute is a newly-established, research-focused graduate studies institute and think tank. The Africa Institute is established as a cultural and academic unique addition to the study of Africa and its diaspora, in addition to its unique emphasis on Afro-Arab historical relations and linkages. The Africa Institute will contribute to advancing knowledge production about Africa and its people, their social, cultural and intellectual heritage and contributions to human civilization at large. This will be accomplished through research, teaching, and contribution to the development of related academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The Institute is working to develop degree programs at the Masters and Ph.D. levels, in relation to Africa and the emerging studies of the global African diaspora, in addition to special diploma in African languages. Read more.

About the position:

We are seeking a highly experienced and skilled professional for the position of Head of Internal Audit at The Africa Institute of the Global Studies University. The successful candidate will lead the university’s internal audit function, providing strategic direction and overseeing comprehensive audit activities to assess the effectiveness of internal controls, risk management, and governance processes. This role requires a strategic thinker with a strong understanding of financial systems, regulations, and best practices. The Head of Internal Audit will work closely with executive leadership and the Board of Trustees to enhance internal processes, ensure compliance, and contribute to the achievement of organizational objectives.


 Strategic Leadership:

  • Develop and implement a risk-based internal audit plan that aligns with the university’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives.
  • Provide strategic guidance to executive management on risk management and internal control practices within the higher education context.

 Audit Planning and Execution:

  • Plans, executes, and manages internal audits covering financial, operational, and compliance areas.
  • Conduct audits to assess the efficiency of internal controls and adherence to regulatory requirements specific to higher education.
  • Develops a 3–5-year strategic audit plan, outlining the annual audit assignments.
  • Applies global auditing standards to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of operating systems and controls, generating detailed audit reports outlining findings and recommendations.

Risk Management:

  • Identify, assess, and manage risks relevant to university operations and academic activities.
  • Collaborate with management to enhance risk management processes and procedures.

Compliance and Governance:

  • Ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and internal policies, with a focus on higher education compliance.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of governance processes and internal controls within a university setting.

 Reporting and Communication:

  • Prepare and present comprehensive audit reports to executive management and the Audit Committee.
  • Communicate audit findings, recommendations, and progress to university stakeholders.

Continuous Improvement:

  • Drive continuous improvement initiatives within the internal audit function, incorporating best practices from the higher education sector.
  • Stay informed about changes in higher education regulations and standards, adjusting the audit plan as needed.

 Team Management:

  • Lead, mentor, and develop a high-performing internal audit team with a focus on understanding the unique aspects of university operations.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and professional development within the team.


  • A Master’s degree in Business, Accounting, Commerce, Finance, or other relevant discipline is required
  • Relevant professional certification (e.g., CIA, CISA, CPA, ACCA) is highly desirable.
  • A minimum of 10 years of related work experience in management of Internal Audit and/or Finance
  • Experience in internal audit leadership roles.
  • In-depth knowledge of risk management, internal controls, and auditing standards.
  • Strong understanding of financial systems, regulatory requirements, and industry best practices in higher education.
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact with all levels of university management.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities, including the ability to motivate and develop a team.
  • Expert skills in auditing techniques, accounting, and management principles
  • Superior knowledge of international accounting and auditing policies, procedures, principles, and standards.
  • Strong working knowledge of governmental budgeting and accounting policies, procedures, and standards
  • Prior experience in organizing, planning, managing, and supervising audit functions and in conducting financial reporting.
  • Highly developed organizational, communication, and presentation skills
  • Exceptional negotiating and decision-making skills
  • Strong management or leadership skills as exhibited by experience in effectively leading a team and/or chairing committees
  • Superior interpersonal skills as demonstrated by the ability to form professional relationships at all levels of the organization and with appropriate external stakeholders.
  • Previous experience working in a higher education or training institution is preferred
  • Internal audit experience in UAE government-related entities would be advantageous.
  • Excellent communication skills in English and Arabic are required.


If you are interested, kindly send an email with your CV and a Cover Letter to the following email: Please mention the position you are applying for in the subject line.


*Salary and further compensation commensurate with degree and experience. Benefits package includes health insurance, housing, and transportation, children school fees allowances subject to coordination of benefits.
*The Africa Institute is committed to fair employment practices and encourages women and men of all national, ethnic and religious backgrounds to apply and join our expanding team. UAE nationals are encouraged to apply.
*We anticipate a high number of applications and will do our best to respond to any queries. Please do note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted in the first instance.