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Dubai: A total of 1,800 students will be awarded scholarships by 2030, covering 50 per cent of tuition fees at private schools in Dubai.

As part of the Dubai Social Agenda 33, the initiative comes under the Dubai Distinguished Students Programme for outstanding Emirati students in schools rated ‘Good’ or higher.

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Applications for more than 400 scholarships in the 2024-25 academic year will be open from May 20 to June 5. Emirati parents can register their children through the KHDA website.

The scholarship programme is being supported by education operators and independent private schools in Dubai, including Taaleem, Innoventures Education, Dubai Heights Academy, and Dar Al Marefa School.

Curricula covered by the schools participating in the first year of the Dubai Distinguished Students Programme include the British curriculum, International Baccalaureate, and American curriculum.

Who can apply
The scholarship is open to Emirati students with a family book issued by the Emirate of Dubai. The programme covers 50 per cent tuition for students from Grade 4 or Year 5 until Grade 10 or Year 11 who are either newly or currently enrolled in public or private schools in Dubai.
Eligible students must have an average grade of 90 per cent or above in the US or Ministry of Education curriculum, a score of at least 5 in the IB curriculum, or a B-grade average for the British curriculum. Applicants must also successfully pass assessments and interviews conducted by the schools’ evaluation committees.
Under the scholarship, participating schools will cover 50 per cent of tuition costs, while parents or guardians must cover the remaining 50 per cent. The programme will be managed by a committee to ensure the provision of education matches the high standards expected of participating schools.
More information about the Dubai Distinguished Students Programme and eligibility criteria is available on the KHDA website.

In an effort to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sectors and provide high-quality educational opportunities for Emirati students, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Knowledge Fund Establishment, and nine private schools in Dubai have joined forces to offer more than 400 scholarships to exceptional Emirati students in Dubai’s private schools, in the first year of the Programme.

Aisha Abdulla Miran, Director-General, KHDA, said: “The Dubai Distinguished Students Programme aims to ensure that Emirati students attending private schools in Dubai receive education that is rated Good or better. By fostering sustainable partnerships between the public and private sectors, we can empower the next generation of Emirati youth leaders who will shape the future of Dubai, a key pillar of the Dubai Social Agenda 33.”

She added: “We extend our gratitude to our partners at the Knowledge Fund for their support of this initiative. We also commend the proactive approach demonstrated by participating schools, which reflects their dedication to nurturing exceptional Emirati students by offering scholarships that cover 50 per cent of tuition fees. We welcome more private schools to join us in this endeavour and contribute positively to Dubai’s aspirations by shaping the future leaders and trailblazers across diverse sectors that will lead to the sustained development of Dubai.”

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Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Knowledge Fund Establishment, said: “Within our strategy at the Knowledge Fund Establishment, we are keen on adopting and supporting high-quality educational initiatives that enrich the educational system in the Emirate of Dubai, aligning with Dubai’s Social Agenda 2033 and the ambitious vision for Dubai to become one of the top 10 cities globally in education quality.”

He added: “With the participation of nine private schools, we announce the launch of this educational initiative in collaboration with our esteemed colleagues at the [KHDA]. This marks a new phase in empowering distinguished Emirati students by providing an outstanding and ideal environment to enhance their education to higher levels. We extend our gratitude to our strategic partners in schools for their participation in and support of this program, ensuring the effective educational environment that will contribute to the development of our students’ skills.”

Al Awar continued: “We will strive diligently to enhance educational opportunities for our distinguished students by encouraging more private schools to contribute and join this educational initiative in the future.”

Alan Williamson, CEO of Taaleem, said: “We are honoured to be part of this exceptional initiative that brings together the public and private sectors to offer premium educational opportunities for Emirati students. At Taaleem, we are committed to providing academic, personal, and professional development opportunities for students participating in the programme. We also pledge to create an inspiring and supportive learning environment for Emirati students.”

Sultan bin Sulayem, owner of Dubai Heights Academy, said: “This initiative is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors to provide the best educational opportunities for outstanding Emirati students. At Dubai Heights Academy, we believe in the importance of providing suitable opportunities for every student to achieve their potential, and we are committed to supporting the scholarship programme.”

Ibrahim Al Ghurair, chairman of Dar Al Marefa School, said: “We are pleased to support this initiative and extend our educational offerings to exceptional Emirati students. Our goal is to prepare them for the future in line with Dubai’s vision outlined in the Dubai Social Agenda 33. We are committed to fostering an enriching and supportive learning environment for our students and parents, ensuring the programme’s goals are realised.”

Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures Education, said: “This partnership aligns with our ongoing commitment to provide outstanding educational opportunities for our students and contribute to empowering them with skills essential for the future. At Innoventures Education, we recognise the importance of empowering academically gifted students and offering them the support they need for both intellectual and personal growth.

"We are dedicated to offering an enriching educational experience for our students, which is holistic, rigorous, and international and look forward to working closely with our partners in the programme to achieve our shared future objectives.”