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Al Ghurair Education Foundation visits AUS campus
A delegation from the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education led by the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, His Excellency AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, visited American University of Sharjah (AUS) marking its first meeting with leading universities in the Arab region to explore areas of potential cooperation. His Excellency AbdulAziz Al Ghurair was accompanied by Maysa Jalbout, CEO of the Foundation, and welcomed by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor.
The recently established Foundation is one of the largest privately funded philanthropic initiatives with a budget of USD 1 Billion devoted to support 15,000 Arab students in the Arab World.
The delegates were briefed by the Chancellor on the establishment of AUS as a leading higher education institution in the region. "Our main focus is to strengthen our graduate programs and invest more in research. AUS is only 19 years old and yet has come to achieve many incredible accomplishments and we are taking the necessary steps to grow much more in the future," said Dr. Kjerfve.
"One of the main aims of AUS has been to bring the best quality education to talented, financially deserving students. As a not-for-profit university, we place a great deal of emphasis on financial aid and provide scholarships and other forms of grants to 43 percent of AUS students. This allows qualified students to be enrolled at the university regardless of their financial background," said Chancellor Kjerfve.
"We are also mandated to forge links with business and industrial sectors of society in order to develop mutually beneficial relationships wherein support such as that offered by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education plays an important part in furthering our collective goals," added the Chancellor.
During the meeting, AbdulAziz Al Ghurair emphasized the significance of providing underserved students the opportunity to study at AUS. He said that the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation will create opportunities that will activate the untapped potential of Arab youth, providing underserved, high-achieving students with the scholarships, support and skills training that they need to thrive.
He commented, "Our focus is to offer high-achieving Emirati and Arab students with the best educational opportunities out there that match their aspirations and ambitions. The Foundation is pleased to have initiated collaboration talks with AUS to help kick-start the programs that will make the dreams of these youth a reality."
Professor Kevin Mitchell, the AUS Interim Provost, highlighted the necessity of providing students with every option of enrolling at AUS and stated, "The university aims to provide students with access to an excellent education. Support from the Foundation would extend access to those without the financial means to pursue higher education."
The Foundation will offer scholarships to Emirati and Arab youth planning to pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects, in line with the needs of the local and regional labor markets. The scholarships will be provided to a select group of students who demonstrate both high academic achievement and financial need through a rigorous selection process.
Maysa Jalbout, CEO of the Foundation stated, "It is critical to offer eligible students a holistic support system, beyond just financial support, enabling them to succeed in their educational journey and in their transition to employment."
The meeting was also attended by senior officials from AUS and Al Ghurair Foundation for Education. The visiting delegates also took a tour of the university campus and met with eight high-achieving Arab students to talk about their experience at AUS and share their perspectives on effective scholarship programs.