Under the inaugural Khotwa scholarship programme, 140 Emirati scholars are now finalising preparations to kickstart their higher education courses at community colleges in the USA and Canada next month, where they will live with local families rigorously selected by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek).
This comes after they successfully navigated a tough application and selection process while applying for the Khotwa (RizeUp) scholarship programme launched by Adek.
The 140 successful candidates will now study for two years at community colleges in North America, with 114 scholars set to travel to the US and 26 to Canada, before transferring their credits to an international or local university to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
The students will also come under a fully-funded home-stay programme while pursuing their studies, which will provide them with a safe and welcoming atmosphere during their studies. This opportunity will also help students improve their English language skills while fostering their cultural understanding and tolerance.
Ahead of the beginning of the winter term in January, the first intake of successful applicants attended a pre-departure gathering, where the group of 94 male and 46 female scholars were briefed by ADEK’s Khotwa advisors. Representatives of the American and Canadian embassies also briefed the scholars about what to expect in their respective countries of study.
Dr Bashaer Almatrooshi, executive director — Talent Enablement Sector at ADEK, said: “Our students are about to embark on an exciting journey of discovery where they will learn beyond the classroom and gain invaluable insights into international mindsets and cultures. This experience will enhance their personal and academic development and we trust them to make the very best of this opportunity. The majors our students will study represent priority sectors in the UAE’s national economic agenda. Khotwa (RizeUp) embodies ADEK’s commitment to offer unique learning opportunities that empower Emiratis to fulfil their potential and empower them to contribute to the development of the national economy.”
Originally designed for an initial intake of 100 successful applicants, ADEK increased the inaugural Khotwa (RizeUp) programme capacity following the candidates’ results in the selection process and their performance during the bootcamp.
This included behavioural interviews and self-assessments, group case studies, situational simulation and soft skills training. Over 1,600 students registered for the programme with 140 scholars selected after scoring the highest points in the assessment criteria.
“The talented pool of candidates showcased a strong aptitude for learning, a willingness to take on new challenges and a commitment to succeed. We were encouraged to expand the intake of the first year and help more scholars to jumpstart their higher education journey,” added Almatrooshi.
“We are confident that the selected scholars will take on their new journeys with perseverance and we will in turn continue to support them in every stage through 24/7 advisory support from January through to graduation.”
In addition to covering tuition fees at the community colleges and living costs throughout their homestay programme, as well as during their bachelor’s degree, Khotwa students will also receive a living allowance each.