x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Scholarships that open doors to careers

DUBAI // Amity University is using a generous scholarship programme to attract more Emirati students as part of its expansion.

Just a handful of the university's 400 students are Emirati, despite dozens of scholarships on offer.

Ashwaq bint Qafleh, 26, started her degree in forensic science this year on a full scholarship.

Having worked since leaving school to support her family, the scholarship gave her the chance to get the education she dreamt of.

"I wanted to do medicine but it was too expensive so I went for dentistry but that didn't work out as I couldn't afford it," she said. "When I found out there was forensic science, it was like a door opening."

Leaving her job at the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority was "a huge risk", but the scholarship gave her the confidence to do it.

She is getting by on her savings but is looking for a part-time job.

"It's been hard but I know I'm in the right place. I feel it," she said.

It is a career in which good employment prospects are guaranteed - the profession is crying out for qualified Emiratis.

Atul Chauhan, Amity's chancellor, said Dubai's Law 21 - which gives degrees from the free-zone universities the same status as those from Ministry of Higher Education-accredited universities - would help the university attract more Emiratis because their degrees now gave them access to jobs in the public sector.