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UAE Students Are To Receive Scholarships For Overseas Studies

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has launched the Khotwa (RizeUp) scholarship program on the orders of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, in order to further improve access to educational opportunities and widen the horizons of recent high school graduates.

The AED 1.9 billion program's objectives are to improve academic performance while giving students from various academic and social backgrounds, who have not previously received scholarships, life skills and a comprehensive education to help them realize their full potential and contribute to the expansion of Abu Dhabi's knowledge-based economy.

By enrolling 100 students in its initial cohort this year, ADEK hopes to eventually have 6,000 scholarship recipients in total by the year 2028.

When all prerequisites are completed, and after spending two years studying at community colleges in the US and Canada, students will be able to transfer their credits to any local or international institution to earn their bachelor's degrees.

Her Excellency Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education and Chairperson of ADEK, observed: “This landmark program is a strategic investment by Abu Dhabi’s Government to continue nurturing future-ready Emirati bachelor’s degree holders. Khotwa (RizeUp) will empower students who have not benefitted from our previous scholarships to study at international colleges and universities and graduate as highly competent, effective and productive citizens capable to enrich our national employment pool and play an active role in driving forward our knowledge-based economy.”

She further added, “Building on the success of employment rates exceeding 90 per cent among ADEK’s scholarship graduates, we recognize the potential in providing opportunities. Consequently, we have expanded the scholarship matrix to include specific academic specializations - selected in close cooperation with government, national, and private entities - that will further enhance our graduate scholars’ employability in the short, medium and long-term.”

It is anticipated that the following admission requirements will allow more Emirati students to benefit from this opportunity.

Students in Abu Dhabi's public, private, and charter schools who completed their grade 12 finals with a minimum GPA of 65% are eligible. They should have scored a minimum of 3.0 in IELTS tests. For National Service Graduates without a bachelor's degree, the same requirements apply. Furthermore, candidates whose families are receiving social support will be prioritized.

The initiative will also pay the costs of an additional year of candidates' English language study if they do not currently possess the competence levels necessary to enroll in post-high school courses at North American community institutions.

Students who wish to join Khotwa (RizeUp) must consent to participate in a homestay program during the two-year community college period. During this time, they will live with local families who have been carefully chosen by Adek and other renowned homestay organizations in North America.

For candidates shortlisted the next step is to undergo a five-day bootcamp that is required at ADEK headquarters in October to determine their fitness for homestay and study abroad programs. Dr Bashaer Almatrooshi, acting executive director for Talent Enablement Sector at ADEK explains, “The bootcamp will follow a program of behavioral interviews and self-assessments, group case studies, role play and situational simulation, and soft skills training.” He further clarifies, “It will be a developmental experience for successful applicants and those who may not qualify this time around. Those selected must meet key criteria including a willingness and ability to learn in new settings.”

In January 2023, selected candidates will depart for their designated community college and homestay program.

Khotwa (RizeUp) enrollees will also receive living allowances and ongoing one-on-one academic counseling support from ADEK's academic counsellors throughout the program in addition to covering tuition fees and living expenses throughout their homestay program at community college as well as their bachelor's degree.

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