Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
Shape the future of international education at the ICEF Monitor Summit September 23rd 2024, InterContinental London - The O2
23rd Nov 2022

UAE sets a new tone for scholarship programmes in the Persian Gulf

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • A new Abu Dhabi-administered scholarship programme aims to fully fund degree studies in the US and Canada for 6,000 students by 2028
  • The programme relies on a 2+2 model, with students beginning their studies at a community college and then transferring to a university to complete their degrees
  • The new scholarships are targeted to the large field of students who have not been able to participate in earlier programmes that have been limited to top-ranked institutions abroad

The United Arab Emirates has launched a new scholarship programme that aims to send 6,000 Emirati students for degree programmes in the US and Canada by 2028.

The Khotwa (RizeUp) scholarship programme was announced in September 2022 and will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). The AED1.9 billion (US$520 million) programme is targeted to students from a variety of academic and social backgrounds "to enable them to achieve their full potential and contribute to the growth of Abu Dhabi’s knowledge-based economy."

Khotwa scholarships will provide full funding for participating Emirati students for their entire degree programmes, including homestay accommodation and up to a year of English language study.

The programme relies on a 2+2 model, through which students will begin their academic studies at a designated community college in either Canada or the US, and then transfer to an affiliated university to complete their degrees. The initial set of participating colleges were reportedly selected on the basis that they (a) operate their own English language programmes, (b) are partnered with degree-granting universities, and (c) offer homestay accommodations for visiting students.

In order to be eligible for a Khotwa scholarship, Emirati students must have an average of 65% or above in their final year of secondary studies, and an IELTS score of 3.0 or better. The first 170 Khotwa-funded students will begin their studies in the US and Canada in January 2023.

Where it fits

The programme stands in contrast to other scholarship initiatives in the region, some of which have sharpened their focus on top-scoring students and elite institutions in recent years. And as such it reflects a growing awareness among policy makers in the region that only a relatively small percentage of prospective students will be served by that focus on top-ranked institutions abroad.

Governments throughout the region, meanwhile, remain committed to Vision 2030 initiatives as well as the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and are working to align scholarship programmes with those larger societal goals, including improving gender equity, reducing societal inequalities, and targeting fields of study to priority areas of industry demand.

Commenting on the Khotwa launch, Her Excellency Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education and Chairperson of ADEK, said:

“This landmark programme is a strategic investment by Abu Dhabi 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.”

“Building on the success of employment rates exceeding 90% among ADEK’s scholarship graduates, we recognise 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."

For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • US ELT providers flag visa denials as key area of concern Read More
  • Canada’s immigration ministry proposes new compliance regime for institutions and schools Read More
  • What is the right balance of international enrolment in post-secondary education? Read More

Most Popular

  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Read More
  • Lessons from Denmark: The downside of limiting international student flows Read More

Because you found this article interesting

US ELT providers flag visa denials as key area of concern The just-released 2024 Annual Report on English Language Programs in the USA expands on survey findings released earlier...
Read more
Canada’s immigration ministry proposes new compliance regime for institutions and schools Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has proposed a series of regulatory changes to the country’s international student...
Read more
What is the right balance of international enrolment in post-secondary education? In January 2024, Canada announced a two-year cap on international enrolments. That cap was mandated by the federal...
Read more
UK ELT providers report restricting enrolment because of bed shortages A new report from English UK draws on survey responses from 91 member centres to conclude that many...
Read more
Student weeks for Malta’s ELT sector surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2023 The latest data for Malta’s English Language Teaching (ELT) sector finds that total student weeks for 2023 increased...
Read more
International students contributed $31 billion to Canadian economy in 2022 An updated analysis from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) estimates that the combined direct and indirect GDP contribution of...
Read more
New Zealand hosted over 69,000 international students in 2023 New Zealand’s schools, universities, language institutes, and vocational institutions together hosted 69,135 international students in 2023, a 67%...
Read more
Would a second Trump presidency make the US more or less attractive to foreign students? A just-released global survey report from Intead and Studyportals, Know Your Neighbourhood, contains several surprising findings – including...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links