SHARJAH // Despite failing his high school examination, Mohammed Al Tamimi, 18, was determined to continue his education.
But the Ajman student's options were limited, with no federal universities or colleges in his emirate where he could study for free.
Fortunately he will now be able to continue his studies at the new Adveti campus in Sharjah.
His father, Saeed, a mechanical engineer, said: "I asked him, do you want to go to work and he said no. He wanted to keep studying." His friends all have jobs, but not Mohammed.
Travel to the Sharjah campus will take some time but this has not deterred Mohammed, who sat his placement exam yesterday.
"It's not close to home and will be different to school," said his father. "It may take some adjusting."
But Mohammed seems unfazed. "It's not as early a start as school and the day is as long as school was so I don't mind," he said.
Omar Karam, 18, has come from Dubai. He failed to meet entry requirements for the Higher Colleges of Technology, but is happy with his alternative as many of his friends are in the same boat.
Even at his placement exam yesterday he was not alone, waiting for a friend to finish before they headed home together.
"I didn't want a job, I wanted to continue studying," he said. "My family are happy I've got this opportunity."
* Melanie Swan