Applications for Al Qasimia University open in April, May, June, and July. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are an international student who has always wanted to study in the UAE, did you know that there is a scholarship programme in Sharjah, that will allow you to not just study in the UAE for free, but also cover your basic costs like housing, food and visa?

The scholarship programme by Al Qasimia University Sharjah is available to international students, however you need to be aware of the language requirements, as some courses have Arabic as a language of instruction. If you are not fluent in Arabic, you can first enrol in the Arabic Language centre at the university, after which you can proceed to enrol in one of the programmes offered at the university.

Nineteen-year-old international student, Awais Ahmad, spoke to Gulf News about his experience applying to the university’s scholarship programme. He is currently completing the one year Arabic language course, after which he will start studying at the College of Arts and Humanities, for the Bachelors of Arts in Media.

Al Qasimia University in Sharjah
The scholarship programme is only limited to international students - those accepted from outside the UAE.

“I completed my high school studies in my home town and was searching online for scholarships to universities. When I saw that Al Qasimia University is offering scholarships, I applied online. You need to have your passport, national ID, good conduct certificate and health fitness certificate to complete the application. When I was flying out last year, students were also required to provide the COVID-19 vaccine certificate. Your marks should be at least 75 per cent or 70 per cent, depending on which department you are applying to and you may also need to provide your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. From my personal experience, I would recommend students to add their co-curricular certificates or awards that they may have received, which I think can help your application,” he said.

“The scholarship covers all the costs - tuition fee, cost of books, food, accommodation, hostel expenses as well as personal stipend – when you join just for the Arabic language centre you will get Dh1,000 stipend, but as soon as you join the programme, you will get up to Dh1,500. The university also provides a lot of programmes and activities for students. After completing 50 per cent of your courses, you also get a ticket to your home country and then once you have graduated, you will again get a ticket, to travel back home,” he said.

The scholarship covers all the costs - tuition fee, cost of books, food, accommodation, hostel expenses as well as personal stipend.

- Awais Ahmad, international student at Al Qasimia University, Sharjah

So, if you are interested in taking advantage of the scholarship programme, here are the details you need to know about.

Who does the scholarship programme apply to?

These are the criteria for the scholarship programme, as per the university’s website:

• The scholarship programme is only limited to international students (those accepted from outside the UAE).
• Only international students shall receive a monthly stipend determined by the university.
• The monthly stipend during the Summer Semester is given only to enrolled international students. Enrollment for the Summer Semester is optional.
• Students on scholarship are entitled to one ticket (round trip) after completing 50 per cent of the total credit hours of their specialisation and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 throughout the study period.
• The university is responsible for all expenses related to student residence visas and Emirates ID cards.
• The university provides health insurance for international students only.
• The university provides accommodation for students.
• The university only provides on-campus transportation.
• If international students do not arrive on time to the UAE after being accepted as a student in the university, their visa shall be cancelled.
• Students are granted return tickets to their countries of origin after their graduation.

Which courses can I take?

These are the programmes you can apply to:

• Bachelor of Arts in Media
• Bachelor of Arts in Economics
• Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Language and Literature
• Bachelor of Science in the Holy Quran
• Bachelor of Arts in Sharia and Islamic Studies

Language of instruction
The language of instruction at the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, College of Arts and Humanities and College of the Holy Quran is Arabic.
The languages of instruction at the College of Economics and Management and College of Communication are Arabic and English.
New non-Arabic speaking students are placed in the Intensive Arabic Programme, for a maximum of one or two semesters, provided that they are accepted at the Language Centre.

Which documents do I need to prepare?

According to the university website, students need to have a high school certificate, showing a minimum average of 70 per cent or 75 per cent, depending on which college you wish to enroll in. The applicant must be at least 16 years old and not more than 20 years old when applying to the university and all admitted applicants are required to take the Arabic Language Placement Test, to be able to register for freshman-level college courses. The test helps assess students’ language skills, which in turn helps determine whether or not they are able to enrol directly in the college programme.

Here is a list of the documents that are required:

• Original Secondary School (High School) certificate
• Original transcripts for Grades 10, 11 and 12
• Attestation of the required documents from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country from which the certificate was issued and the Embassy of the UAE in that country.
• Translation of foreign certificates into Arabic or English from a certified translation company and their attestation from the above-mentioned authorities.
• Provide evidence of recognition of the school or institute which issued the Secondary School (High School) Certificate.
• Translation of the passport into Arabic if it is in a language other than English.
• Completed admission application.
• English proficiency certificate – IELTS, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or EmSAT (Emirates Standardised Test) – if you are applying for courses with the College of Economics and management or the College of Communication.
• Passport copy, with the passport being valid for at least two years.
• 12 recent coloured photographs, with a white background.
• Good conduct certificate or police clearance certificate, issued by your home country. This certificate must be translated into Arabic or English by a certified translation company if it is in any other language.
• Copy of birth certificate.
• Health fitness certificate issued by a government hospital in your home country. This document should be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country. This certificate should not be older than three months from the date of applying to the university.

How to apply

Applications for Al Qasimia University open in April, May, June, and July.

The process involves completing an online application form via the official website,, and submitting the required documents.

“The whole process can be completed online,” Ahmed told Gulf News.

“While the deadline for applications is over for this year, once the applications open for next year, students can simply log on to the website the portal will be open for application,” he added.

Once you have completed the application form, submit the initial documents, after which you will be told if you are selected for an initial interview.