Dubai: The Indian High School (IHS) has become the first school to have an official endowment fund in the UAE after it officially launched the pioneering initiative during its recent annual graduation ceremony.
“You always hear of universities that have endowment funds but you rarely hear of schools that do,” said Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), who launched the endowment fund.
“If you take Harvard University for example it has a $32 billion [Dh117 billion] endowment fund which shows you how far such funds can grow. I am very excited and proud of IHS for taking this pioneering step and I hope that it would lead by example for other schools and inspire them to follow in IHS’s footsteps,” he said.
The IHS, a non-profit organisation, launched the fund in order to provide students with high-quality education without increasing its fees.
The money raised by the endowment fund will be used for infrastructural development, long-term investment programmes, scholarship programmes and also aid growth towards holistic education.
The school’s graduating class of 2013, comprising 257 girls and 205 boys, was one of the first to contribute to the fund after its official launch as they managed to raise Dh100,000 through various sources as a goodbye gift to their school.
Companies or individual donators who contribute more Dh100,000 will be recognised and appreciated by having their names engraved on the Endowment fund brick wall and other value contributors will be mentioned, on the screen affixed within the brick wall.
To ensure fair admission IHS currently operates a lottery system in choosing students, however, after the launch of the endowment fund a greater number of students will get the opportunity to access high education at an affordable cost as it will allow for an increase in pupil intake.
“In these uncertain economic times the fund will help to safeguard the future of our school, offering long-term sustainability and more opportunities,” said Ashok Kumar, CEO of IHS.
— Noor Nazzal is a trainee at Gulf News