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The Khotwa (RizeUp) programme aims to create sustainable academic and personal accomplishments for students while enriching their access to educational opportunities through a customized broader pathway.

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has opened registration for the second Khotwa (RizeUp) Programme intake for the academic year 2023/24. The programme aims to create sustainable academic and personal accomplishments for students while enriching their access to educational opportunities through a customized broader pathway.

Registration remains open until December 31 via a dedicated link on the ADEK website.

The second intake will encompass 600 Emirati students qualifying for overseas studies, set to commence in January and September 2024. The departing students will embark on a transformative two-year journey at 38 community colleges in the USA and Canada, pursuing 42 majors across agriculture, arts and humanities, business administration, law, engineering, health, information and communication technologies; among other majors that address the requirements of priority industries and future needs of the UAE economy.

Bachelor’s degree

After completing the two-year program at community colleges, Khotwa (RizeUp) students will transfer their credits to international or local universities to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

“We remain steadfast in our unwavering commitment to provide Emirati students with the essential resources and support to empower their educational journeys and futures in the workplaces of tomorrow,” said Dr Bashaer Almatrooshi, Executive Director – Talent Enablement Sector at ADEK.

“Following its successful launch last year, we are poised to select the second intake of Khotwa (RizeUp) students to embark on their next education chapters across North America. Our commitment persists in introducing Emirati youth to new international mindsets and cultures, enriching their overall educational experience and capabilities through on-site academic advising support.”

In its inaugural year of 2022/23, the programme’s first intake comprised 441 students, consisting of 361 males and 80 females, studying in eight diverse fields across 42 majors in the USA and Canada after successfully navigating the program’s rigorous selection process.

The multifaceted process, including a five-day bootcamp of psychometric assessments, soft skills training, and simulations, ensured their readiness for the academic adventure ahead. Khotwa (RizeUp) students also benefited from Second Language (ESL) programs, reinforcing their commitment to academic development while adapting to their new educational experience.

6,000-student target

Launched in September last year under the directives of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the program aims to offer higher education opportunities in the US and Canada to 6,000 Emirati students by 2028.

The qualifying Khotwa (RizeUp) students hail from a variety of academic and social backgrounds; none have received previous scholarship awards. The fully funded programme will provide cohorts with future-ready, globally appropriate skills, and broad educational experiences to achieve their full potential and actively contribute to growing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge-based economy.

Who can apply?

Students must also commit to a two-year homestay programme that will see them live with local families carefully selected by ADEK and reputable homestay organisations across North America, where they will gain valuable exposure to alternative cultures and mindsets.

The Khotwa (RizeUp) programme is open to Abu Dhabi students at public, private, and Charter Schools, as well as National Service graduates with a minimum GPA of 65 per cent and above in their Grade 12 finals and a minimum of 3.0 in IELTS tests, and who do not hold bachelor’s degrees.


Priority will be given to candidates whose families receive social support, ensuring equitable access to educational opportunities. Shortlisted candidates will undergo a three-stage selection process, including a mandatory five-day bootcamp, interviews, and engaging pre-departure events.

In addition to covering tuition fees and living costs throughout their homestay community college programmes and their future bachelor’s degree studies, Khotwa (RizeUp) scholars also receive living allowances, covering costs of one additional year of English language studies where required, and continuous one-on-one advisory support from ADEK’s academic counselors during their education journeys.