Two underprivileged Emirati students of the Dubai Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) will receive a full scholarship to begin courses at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UoWD).
Tayeb Al Rais and Prof Trevor Spedding sign the memorandum of understanding at the UoWD on Sunday. — KT photo by Rahul Gajjar
The students are expected to join the UoWD in the next academic year in September this year.
The new partnership will see the UoWD award full scholarships to two children on an annual basis. Additionally, all minors supported by AMAF as well as the foundation’s staff will benefit from discounted fees on any programme of study at UoWD, subject to meeting the university’s entry criteria.
Secretary-General of AMAF Tayeb Al Rais said: “We are starting the initiative with two students .... (Soon) several of the AMAF students can join UoWD with a discounted fee structure.”
With over 2,500 minors in its care, AMAF works in collaboration with several agencies to provide the best opportunities possible for these underprivileged children. The partnership with the UoWD will support young people who may not have had the best start in life to benefit from the highest standards of university education.
Al Rais added: “Despite significant progress that our country has made in offering quality education for all, some children in the UAE either do not register at school above a certain age or discontinue school due to their social or economic circumstances. This collaboration with the UoWD to provide higher education opportunities for orphaned children underlines AMAF’s commitment to support society by offering education of a standard that ensures a secure future and better life for children under our care.” With the growing cultural diversity that Dubai is witnessing, Al Rais said, this move could encourage Emirati students to opt for private institutions for education. “We are a minority in our own country. Most of our graduates join federal institutes for their higher education. Initiatives like this can change that trend and with the significant expatriate population in this country, our children have to work doubly hard to keep up with the cut throat competition from talented expatriates.”
Professor Trevor Spedding, president of the UoWD, said: “The AMAF students will have to undergo the normal admission procedures that all our students go through. The students will be joining bachelor courses.
“About 1/6th of our student population are Emirati students, but they are in Masters or PhD courses. We are delighted to enter into this partnership with AMAF.”
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