Abu Dhabi (Al-Ittihad)
The Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi has announced the selection of 140 Emirati male and female students from among successful applicants in the Step Scholarships Program to begin their academic journey in selected community colleges across the United States and Canada. Students will go to their scholarship country in January after completing all stages of the evaluation process.
The Department hosted an orientation meeting for the first batch of successful applicants, including 94 male and 46 female Emirati students, during which the Department’s team of university advisors and representatives from the United States and Canada embassies reviewed the most important aspects related to take into account the personal and academic life of the students in their country of study.
Dr. Bashayer Al Matrooshi, Executive Director – Talent Empowerment Sector at the Department of Education and Knowledge, said: “Our students are embarking on a journey rich in learning and exploration opportunities. This opportunity will improve the prospects for our students’ personal and academic development, and we are all confident that they can invest it in the best way. We invite them to work to the best of their ability, especially as their fields of study meet the requirements of the UAE’s priority economic sectors, as the knowledge and skills they will acquire will enable them to reach their full potential and continue to contribute to the development of our national economy.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge initially aimed for only 100 students in the first batch of the program, but increased the number of accepted students to 140 after the candidates’ results during the evaluation process and their performance in the preparatory training program organized by the department and included a series of behavioral interviews, self-assessment sessions and case studies. More than 1,600 male and female students from the Emirates applied to the program and successful applicants were selected after achieving the highest scores in the approved evaluation criteria. Al Matrooshi added: “The students nominated for the program showed a great desire to learn and a determination to succeed, which encouraged us to increase the number of admissions in the first group to help more Emirati students on their journey in start higher education. We are confident that the selected students are up to the responsibility, and we will do everything we can to ensure their success, including support through communication channels with academic advisors and consultants who will follow their path from January to graduation.
Scholarship students enroll in community colleges in North America and Europe, with 114 to the United States and 26 to Canada. Then students can transfer credits to an international or local university to complete their studies for another two years. and earn a bachelor’s degree.
During their studies, students stay in community colleges with host families in the study countries, where the Department of Education and Knowledge selected these families in collaboration with the most important specialized organizations. Students in the homestay program receive safe housing and a supportive environment while studying at community colleges. The program helps students sharpen their English language skills while instilling values of tolerance and understanding of global cultures.
Scholarship students within the Step program receive living allowances, in addition to covering all study and living costs during their studies and preparation for a bachelor’s degree.
The Step programme, with a total cost of AED 1.9 billion, aims to provide quality educational opportunities to 6,000 Emirati students by 2028. The program provides alternative pathways to higher education for high school graduates from diverse academic and social backgrounds who were previously unable to participate in external scholarship programs. . The fully-funded program provides students with a broad range of future skills and international educational experiences to enable them to reach their full potential and contribute to building the knowledge-based economy in Abu Dhabi.