Several high-profile organisations located within Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) have demonstrated their commitment to the Year of Giving, the Nationall UAE campaign decreed by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, through a range of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives focused on higher education, including over Dhs35 million worth of scholarships to more than 2,800 students.
In line with the 2017 Year of Giving, DIAC and DKP presented awards for these initiatives at their annual Iftar gathering held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, to thank these organisations for their generosity.
Amity University Dubai Campus, Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus, Murdoch University Dubai, Manipal University Dubai, American University in the Emirates, Middlesex University Dubai, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, SP Jain School of Global Management and the University of Wollongong in Dubai are all participating in the charitable initiative which highlights CSR as one of three pillars of giving along with Volunteering and Serving the Nation, while Eton Institute and the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) have spread the spirit of giving into the sectors of language development and vocational training.
Mohammed Abdullah, the Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park, said: “In line with the Year of Giving, we are privileged to be making a difference to those less fortunate by working hand-in-hand with our institutions to support the educational needs of individuals across various spectrums. As educators, we understand the doors a good education can open for our young people and for generations to come, and are proud to fulfill DIAC and DKP’s mission of providing open access to quality education. We stand committed to helping these individuals realize their full potential, and hope that in the future, they can pay it forward with future generations.”
Amity University Dubai’s approach rewards hard work and excellence, through a special category of Academic Merit Scholarships which will waive 100% of tuition fees to 150 high achievers within the UAE and GCC who have excelled in their final year of High School. The university is also offering separate scholarships to students who secure 80% and above in their final results, Emirati nationals and students who are academically proficient but who need financial assistance.
Dr. Vajahat Hussein, CEO of Amity University, Dubai Campus, said: “As part of the Year of Giving Initiative, Amity University Dubai is awarding scholarships worth more than AED 15 million to 450 students in the UAE and GCC.
Places will be offered across 40 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Amity University Dubai, recognising the talent of resourceful bright minds. At Amity, we strongly believe in nurturing and developing global citizens of tomorrow and are honoured to advance educational opportunities for deserving students.”
Heriot-Watt University Dubai will offer scholarships worth Dhs6 million to 1,000 students on a range of criteria including merit, sports, service to community and industry.
The University of Wollongong in Dubai operates on a similar principal and so far in 2017 it has offered scholarships based on Financial Aid or Academic merit to 331 students, while BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus, will be offering a range of scholarships for some 550 students, including scholarships for GCC Nationals, siblings, students with financial hardships and those with bereavements.
Recognising students who’ve demonstrated talent and distinguished achievements in academics, leadership, citizenship, service, communication and entrepreneurship, SP Jain School of Global Management will provide 175 students with its “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship worth more than Dhs3 million to encourage inspiring and socially responsible “Next Gen Global Business Leaders”.
One scholarship operated by the Manipal University Dubai, in partnership with the Indian Embassy to the UAE, supports three female students financially for the duration of their studies in Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Business Administration and Interior Design. Manipal also supports students from select geographies outside the UAE by offering fee waivers for staying in on-campus hostels, and a Merit Scholarship scheme for Grade 12 students who need additional financial support to pursue their higher education.
Mohammad Abdullah said: “The universities are offering hope to less fortunate individuals with this financial aid. That encourages learning among young students and most importantly, an opportunity to progress and to support their families, to improve their situation and to see the world as a better place.”
Other educational institutions are also involving themselves in the initiative in different ways. The language learning centre Eton Institute has several initiatives this year, aimed at promoting tolerance and cultural diversity through communication.
Eton Institute’s Live Online platform delivers courses to Dubai residents and individuals worldwide, free of charge. Eton will also be hosting free cultural workshops, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which are aimed at supporting newly arrived members of the UAE expat community. The Institute also distribute free phrasebooks in different languages to students during January.
The ICCA Dubai Culinary Scholarship, meanwhile, is a Dhs1 million ‘Continuing Education’ award for UAE Young Industry Chefs which helps to support 30 underprivileged young chefs. This smart approach to education simultaneously boosts the F&B industry with a skilled workforce, contributing to the development of the UAE’s vocational sector.
Sunjeh Rajah, Director and CEO of ICCA Dubai, said: “The ICCA Dubai Culinary Scholarship, the One Million Dirham Annual Continuing Education Award for UAE Young Industry Chefs, is a first of its kind innovative initiative, set up with the aim to provide everyone an equal opportunity to help maximize their potential and to achieve their dreams, and not be limited by their means.
“Education is a life changer. It is more than just teaching a skill, it can create a platform for new opportunities in terms of employment and lifelong learning. It is all about building bridges where there are often none, to help young talent overcome the challenges faced, move forward and succeed.”
In line with DIAC and DKP’s commitment to social responsibility principles that contribute to the 2017 Year of Giving, these initiatives convey and reinforce the message of sharing and service during the holy month of Ramadan.