DUBAI //Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, the wife of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, is the first female in the Arab world to lead a university scholarship programme, officials said yesterday.
Dr Moza Ghobash, the chairwoman of the Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail award for creative women, signed a memorandum of understanding with Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim to begin the scholarship at Hamdan bin Mohammed e-University. Lt Gen Tamim is the chairman of the university's board.
"The grant will provide a free four-year education for four Arab students, male or female," Dr Ghobash said. Applicants will be chosen based on guidelines set by the university, with preference towards those with financial needs.
"The university has set acceptance standards, but we are also targeting students who do not necessarily excel in their studies to nurture them to bring out their creativity," she said.
Lt Gen Tamim said: "This is a reflection of the UAE's efforts in all levels to continue the growth of human development and that is shown on a yearly basis."
Sheikha Shamsa is an avid reader, said Dr Ghobash, and holds a degree in economics from UAE University in Al Ain.
"Her seven daughters have all graduated from UAE university and the education of her sons, Dr Sultan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, reflect her keenness to promote knowledge and education," she said.
The Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail award for creative women was established last year. The award is geared to support creative Emirati women and finances their projects. It is a separate award from the scholarships.
Hamdan bin Mohammed e-University is the UAE's first online university and was inaugurated in February 2009.
The university comprises four main colleges: the school of business and quality management, school of education, school of health and environmental studies, and school of continuing education.