Dubai: In a status update, the Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) announced it has, since its inception, served the education-funding needs of 787 high-achieving students from 17 Arab countries through its scholarship programmes.
The update released also revealed that AGFE will double the number of scholarships it awards by the end of 2018 and launch a digital education platform for Emirati youth.
The overall goal of the Foundation is to provide financial support for 15,000 students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by 2026.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the board of trustees of AGFE, said: “Education is the key to modernise economies and develop stable societies. As a Foundation, we strongly believe in the role of education as a catalyst to improving the standard of living and productivity in Arab societies.”
He added: “The Foundation is keen to align the STEM education fields we support with the strategic objectives of Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE National Agenda. In compliance with the directives of our leadership, we aim to focus on building human capital in the region, capable of meeting future challenges and harnessing opportunities.”
The scholarships are awarded through two foundation initiatives — STEM Scholars Programme and Open Learning Scholars Programme — to 16 leading universities in 10 countries across the Arab world, Turkey, North America and Scotland.
With an emphasis on STEM fields, 74 per cent of scholarship recipients currently pursue engineering degrees and another 26 per cent focus on other scientific fields.
The foundation’s status update revealed that 67 per cent of its scholars are pursuing master’s degrees and other higher education credentials. To help empower Arab women, 38 per cent of the total number of scholars benefiting from the Foundation’s support are female.
Both of the scholarship initiatives are administered through an online platform, eliminating geographic barriers. Applications are processed online, and the Open Learning Scholars Programme offers online courses and degrees to leading universities around the world.
Al Ghurair said: “The results achieved by our scholars to date are a testimony to the desire of Arab youth to embrace educational opportunities and contribute to the wellbeing, prosperity and stability of their societies. Our focus on educational philanthropy is continually validated and our hope is for other philanthropists in the region to embrace this vision.”