Cairo – MENA Herald: The American University in Cairo (AUC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, one of the largest privately funded philanthropic education initiatives in the world to support high-achieving Arab students who require financial support to pursue an undergraduate or graduate education at AUC. AUC is among four leading universities around the region which Al Ghurair Foundation for Education has chosen to partner with, including the American University of Beirut, the American University of Sharjah and Khalifa University. The signing ceremony took place at the official launch of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
According to the MOU, AUC and Al Ghurair Foundation, will collaborate on creating opportunities for high-achieving and under-served Arab youth to access and succeed in higher education through the foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Scholars Program. A scholarship program will be established under the name of Al Ghurair STEM Scholars that will target high-achieving Arab students, and AUC will be committed to facilitate academic, career and mentorship support, as well as community service and internship opportunities that Al Ghurair STEM Scholars need to succeed in their education to employment transition.
“We are delighted to be part of this historic launch of Al Ghurair Foundation for Education’s scholarship program,” said AUC President Ad Interim Thomas Thomason. “AUC has a long tradition of working to make an AUC experience possible to the brightest minds through scholarships and financial aid. Given our aspirations to make AUC accessible to top students, we are excited to partner with Al Ghurair Foundation on its ambitious goal of educating thousands of Arab youth — an area we see as vitally important for our region and the world. We are pleased to be in the company of distinguished universities serving the first cohort of Arab scholars and look forward to collaborating and supporting Al Ghurair Foundation’s inspirational vision for the future,” he explained.
Launched in July 2015 and with an investment of $1.1 billion, Al Ghurair Foundation has committed to reaching a minimum of 15,000 Arab youth over the next 10 years, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their promise as the future leaders of the region.
“We hope that the opportunities we provide young Arabs will mark the start of their journey towards greater success and philanthropic giving in the region,” said Abdulla Ahmad Al Ghurair, chairman of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education board of trustees, at the signing ceremony. “Today, we are telling every Arab youth if you aspire to be a leader who wants to give back to your country and region, work hard and set your sight high.” Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education wants every bright young Arab who may have otherwise not been able to afford a high quality education be able to pursue it.”
Currently at AUC, more than 60 percent of students receive financial assistance from the University. Last year, AUC awarded approximately $28 million to undergraduate students in the form of scholarships and financial aid, and 48 percent received need-based aid. In Fall 2014, more than 270 undergraduate students received a full-tuition scholarship from AUC. AUC has merit scholarships targeting students who excel academically and in other areas, like athletic achievement, artistic talent, cultural activities or community engagement. These scholarships include the Public School Scholarship Fund (PSSF) that recognizes top students from different public schools across the country; Empower Scholarship that helps students from governorates in Upper Egypt; the Honors Scholarship; Innovation, Cultural and Leadership Scholarship and Sports Achievement Scholarship.