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Abdulla Al Ghurair foundation awards full master’s degree scholarships to 86 Arab youth

Abdulla Al Ghurair foundation awards full master’s degree scholarships to 86 Arab youth

Candidates will benefit from full scholarships to pursue their master’s degrees at Arizona State University

Eighty-six underprivileged youth from the Arab region will benefit from full scholarships to pursue their master’s degrees at Arizona State University (ASU), as part of the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program (OLSP).

OLSP is an initiative of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE), established in 2015, to promote access to education opportunities for youth in the region.

The students were selected from a group of 353 applications, representing 13 nationalities from the Arab region including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen.

One-third of candidates are first-generation university students, meaning that they will be the first in their families to pursue their higher education, the organisation says.

Additionally, most of these students are young professionals who are pursuing their advanced degrees alongside their full-time jobs and are mainly specializing in the fields of healthcare and engineering, it added.

The OLS programme received 60 per cent more applications this year compared to last year, as perceptions of online education begin to shift among students in the wake of Covid-19.

“We are seeing a growing interest in online learning and a shift in perspective particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar, chief executive officer of AGFE said.

“A survey we conducted with our scholars after the start of the pandemic found that over half of these inspiring young people are open to pursuing online learning in the future. The experience of emergency remote teaching has given them a reason to hope for better when online education is planned. The reality is that these resilient Arab youth are not going to put their educational goals on hold throughout this uncertain period – they want to learn,” she added.

AGFE has a longstanding partnership with ASU, which enables access to the US university’s online master’s degrees through ASU Online. The OLSP offers full online master’s scholarships at ASU for a range of fields including engineering, technology, health, education, sustainability and other programs considered relevant to Arab youth in the region.

Over the past four years, AGFE has offered over 800 scholarships and is helping regional universities improve their capacity to offer educational courses and programs online. These efforts help address the disparity in access to university education in the Arab world to help meet the Sustainable Development Goal 4 targets adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015.

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