Scheme gives weak students opportunity to enrol at institutions.
Youths with poor marks offered second chance
ABU DHABI // A scholarship programme has given hundreds of students who did poorly at secondary school another chance at higher education. The scheme, set up on the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has enabled 700 Emiratis to enrol at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi University and various other vocational education, teacher training and health sciences institutions.
Among those awarded scholarships were 526 who last year completed a nine-month remedial programme run by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), after low grade point averages and English-language test results meant they could not go directly to university. Some of the students began their higher education in September, while others start courses in February. The scholarships were confirmed yesterday at a signing ceremony attended by Dr Mugheer al Khaili, Adec director general, Dr Nabil Ibrahim, ADU chancellor, and Dr Tayeb Kamali, HCT vice chancellor.
Mona al Mansoori, Adec's manager of sponsorship, student and scholarship programmes, said the scholarships covered tuition fees and other expenses such as laptop computers. Of the 700 scholarships, 242 are for the Higher Colleges of Technology, 64 for Abu Dhabi University and others for Emirates College for Advanced Education, Fatima College for Health Sciences and Adec's Vocational Education and Training Institutes in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.
Although tuition fees at most of these institutions are usually free for Emiratis, the students who entered the remedial programme were later classed as mature students and became ineligible. Ms al Mansoori added: "The foundation year programme was successful because of the 600 students who entered, 526 graduated and have registered at institutions." There are 100 students enrolled in Adec's foundation year programme this year. The number have fallen since last year, as a funding increase enabled government universities to take on more students.