Dubai: Scholarships for outstanding Emirati students; eligibility, required documents, all you need to know

A guide to what the programme means, who can apply, its benefits, and the participating schools

by

Poojaraj Maniyeri

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Image used for illustrative purposes. File Photo
Image used for illustrative purposes. File Photo

Published: Mon 20 May 2024, 9:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 May 2024, 12:57 PM

Are you a UAE national student in Dubai with outstanding grades and an excellent academic track record? More than 400 scholarships are on offer for exceptional Emirati students in Dubai’s private schools, in a collaboration between the government and the private education sector.

Read on to know more about what the programme means, who can apply, its benefits, and the participating schools.


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What is Dubai Distinguished Students Programme?

Under the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)'s partnership with the Knowledge Fund Establishment, this initiative aims to offer high quality educational opportunities for exceptional Emirati students, under Dubai Social Agenda 33.


Some key points to note:

  • The programme will cover 50% of the annual tuition fees for outstanding Emirati students in private schools rated 'Good' or 'Better' in the school inspections.
  • The programme will include students who, over the last three years, consistently achieve scores at or above the designated minimum as per their curriculum.
  • Students must apply to the programme in a school different from the one they are presently enrolled in. They can not register in the same school, or school group as their current one.
  • The programme covers schools, and does not apply to university or vocational education.

There will be a focus on students who have "demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, and a strong commitment to continuing their educational journey," according to the KHDA website.

Am I eligible?

You can avail a scholarship under the Dubai Distinguished Students Programme, if you meet the following conditions. According to the KHDA website, you must:

  • Be a UAE national and a holder of a family book issued by Dubai.
  • Be enrolled in a grade not lower than Grade 4 /Year 5 and not above Grade 10/Year 11, or equivalent grades in other applied curriculums in Dubai.
  • Of an age and grade level that adheres to the school's enrolment policies, as approved by KHDA.
  • Not be currently enrolled in any other education scholarship facilitated by another Dubai Government entity.
  • Not have been previously terminated from a government scholarship programme.
  • Not choose the same school (or school group) he/she is currently enrolled in.
  • Pass the admission interviews and placement tests on due dates set by the candidate school.
  • Pass all the screening and selection stages conducted by the programme based on the set enrolment criteria, along with the availability of seats allocated for the current cycle.
  • Respond in a timely manner to all communication via email through all registration and enrolment stages.
  • Successfully attach all required documents to the application and provide all required information accurately. The submitted documents must be true copies.
  • Comply with all the terms mentioned above, and other future responsibilities or commitments required by the programme later.
  • Over the past three years, consistently achieve scores at or above the designated minimum as per your curriculum.
  • Provide evidence from the school indicating that the grade achieved is equivalent to at least 90%, if following other curricula or using different grading systems

What is the minimum grade?

Different curriculum have different minimum grade requirements, that you must achieve in order to be eligible for the educational scholarship:

  • MOE (90% or A-)
  • US (90% or A-)
  • UK (6 or B)
  • IB (5)

When, and where can I apply?

Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will open from May 20 till June 5. Emirati parents can register their children through the KHDA website.

The participating schools and their respective classes are as follows:

  • Collegiate International School (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • Dubai International Academy, Al Barsha (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • Raffles International Academy (Year 5 - Year 11)
  • Uptown International School (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • American Academy for Girls (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • Jumeirah Baccalaureate School (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • Dar Al Marefa (Grade 4 - Grade 10)
  • Dubai Heights Academy (Year 5 - Year 9)
  • Raffles World Academy (Grade 4 - Grade 10)

What are the required documents?

  • Family book issued by Dubai
  • Valid UAE passport
  • Valid Emirates ID
  • Detailed salary certificate of the legal financial guardian’s income source
  • A letter from the workplace regarding education allowance for both parents (with details of whether any of them receive an education allowance and the amount of the education allowance if applicable)
  • Retirement certificate of the legal financial guardian (if applicable)
  • Student's passport size photo
  • Student's report cards for the last three academic years
  • A certified medical report stating if the applicant is a child of determination (if applicable)
  • Custody letter from court for guardians (if applicable)
  • Any other documents requested

It is essential that applications are submitted with all relevant and complete documentation, as the e-system will automatically exclude all incomplete applications once registration closes.

What determines a student's continuity in the programme?

KHDA provides an evaluation for each student at the end of the academic year. These are:

  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Below Expectations

A student can continue in the programme if they achieve a 'Meets Expectations’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations' evaluation. The student will be terminated from the programme if they receive a 'Below Expectations' evaluation.

At the end of each academic year, schools will provide detailed reports of each student to KHDA. The programme team at KHDA reviews these reports, analyses the results and then provides their final evaluation.

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