UAE: Two students awarded Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University

They will commence their academic year at the university in October 2023


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 20 Nov 2022, 1:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Nov 2022, 12:15 AM

Two UAE students – Sara Fekri and Gustė Gurčinaitė – have been awarded Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.

The duo, who were selected for their exceptional intellect, character and leadership, had applied for the scholarship along with more than 60 students earlier this year when the applications opened in June 2022.

Sara Fekri, an Emirati student at King’s College London, is completing a BSc (Honours) in Physics. She aims to pursue an MSc in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford.

Gustė Gurčinaitė, a Lithuanian student at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), is completing her BA in political science. Gurcinaite aims to do an MPhil in environmental change and management at the University of Oxford.

The two will commence their academic year at the university in October 2023.

In 2021, Emirati student Rashid Alrafie and NYUAD student Uljad Berdica were selected as 2022 UAE Rhodes Scholars.

Since 2014, a total of 18 UAE-based students have been awarded this scholarship.

The UAE Rhodes scholarship selection committee is chaired by Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with deputy chair Shamma Bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, and Dr Robert Buckley, National Secretary for the UAE Rhodes Scholarship, and four other members.

The committee, which met the finalists in-person for the first time since the pandemic, interviewed the nine finalists in Abu Dhabi.

“When I was eight, my mother told me that my father wanted me to attend one of the world's top educational institutions. From then until I was 17, I focused solely on gaining admission at a top university. I went to Oxford and met Rhodes Scholars. I remember wishing that I could apply for the scholarship as an Emirati. I am so proud that the UAE has made this opportunity available for eligible students in the country," said Omar Saif Ghobash.


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