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Smriti Joneja, freshly graduated from the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, has been offered a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. Standing behind her are her parents Ruby and Kapil Joneja.
Smriti Joneja, freshly graduated from the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, has been offered a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. Standing behind her are her parents Ruby and Kapil Joneja.

BSAK students on path to success

Pupils at British School Al Khubairat have been offered spots at the top universities in the world.

ABU DHABI // This summer, Smriti Joneja has a tough decision to make: should she take up an offer to study at a prestigious university in California, or at one of two top institutes in London?

It is a problem the British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) pupil relishes.

"I am in a position where I can pick my college of choice from the best rather than settle for something less," the 18-year-old said.

She beat 6,000 applicants to win the Leadership Award, a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. But she could also take a place at one of two leading colleges in the UK - University College London or Imperial College London.

"I am stuck, though, because this is a crucial decision and I am not sure if I want to study in London or California just yet."

Smriti is not the only BSAK student weighing up her options in the coming months. Paul Coackley, the principal, said many of the school's pupils won places in leading colleges and high-ranking universities this year.

Out of the 86 pupils who took their General Certificate of Education (A2 level) examinations this year, several have been offered places at campuses including Yale University, Georgetown University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University in the US and McGill University in Canada.

Tahnoon Al Nahyan, also a BSAK student, has decided on Yale after also receiving offers from Cornell University, New York University and the London School of Economics.

"They have a strong sense of community at Yale and the professors are always challenging the students," Tahnoon explained.

He plans to study ethics, politics and economics: "I think they hold of lot of relevance to how I want to support the UAE when I return."

Mr Coackley is understandably proud.

"What is thrilling about their achievement is that a British-style education is clearly good enough to access top universities abroad," he said. "It is the calibre of the pupils that matters and we are thrilled that they are able to study wherever they want to."


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