FAQS

The answers to all your questions

Are you curious about one of our three programs, but have questions that you would like answered? We've got you covered! Check out our frequently asked questions to simplify this process for you. If you still have questions that haven't been answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

YOUNG THINKERS

Where can I find more information about the Young Thinkers Program?
We are working hard to bring you the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program. To stay up to date on our progress, sign up for our newsletter here!

STEM SCHOLARS

THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

What will I receive as an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar?
As an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar, you will receive a scholarship at one of our partner universities. The scholarship will include both financial and non-financial support that will help you succeed at university and in your transition to work.

  • Financial support: The scholarship includes support towards:
    • University tuition and other mandatory university fees
    • Health insurance, as per the university plan
    • Housing costs, travel airfare and visa costs for students living away from family
    • Transportation, books, and other living expenses

  • Non-financial support: The program also offers scholars a number of opportunities provided both through the university and/or through the Foundation. These include:
    • Access to a network of Al Ghurair Scholars around the world
    • Community service experience
    • Hands-on experiences
    • Academic advising, career counseling and mentorship

How long is the Al Ghurair STEM scholarship for? Will I need to re-apply every year?
The scholarship supports students for the duration of their chosen degree, based on the typical time needed to complete all required credits on a full load/semester basis.  It will also be limited to the number of credits required for each degree.  As long as the scholar is maintaining the criteria and requirements of the scholarship, (s)he will not have to re-apply to the Foundation on a yearly basis. 

What will be expected from me as an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar to maintain my scholarship?
All Al Ghurair STEM Scholars are expected to fulfill certain academic and non-academic responsibilities. Once scholars are selected, they will be required to sign a student agreement with the Foundation that outlines a number of conditions. Most importantly, these include:  

  • Academic - maintaining a semester and cumulative GPA of 3.0, taking a minimum load of credits/semester as advised by the Foundation, not failing any courses, and maintaining a high level of discipline, attendance and engagement in class
  • Other activities – participating in community service activities, completing an internship, taking part in mentorship programs and other leadership workshops, making use of the university career services office, and participating in extracurricular activities
  • Communication and reporting - regularly engaging with the university student coordinator as well as reporting and sharing information with the Foundation through the scholars’ online portal

As an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar at a partner university, can I go for an exchange program at another university during my degree?
The Foundation encourages its scholars to seek additional opportunities that can further their learning and has no objection to scholars participating in exchange programs abroad. However, the Foundation cannot guarantee supporting extra costs associated with attending an exchange/semester abroad program or other non-required activities. Decisions on supporting such activities will be made on a case by case basis depending on the achievements of each scholar and their engagement in the program.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

If I meet the Al Ghurair STEM Scholars program criteria, can I receive support for a degree I am currently pursuing at a non-partner university or for a degree that is not supported by the Foundation at a partner university?
The Al Ghurair STEM Scholars Program only supports students studying in selected STEM degrees at our partner universities. Visit the map on our STEM Scholars Program page to know which universities and which STEM degrees are supported by the scholarship. The scholarship only supports bachelor’s and master’s degrees in STEM-related fields.

If I am currently studying at a non-partner university, can I apply for a scholarship and transfer to one of the Foundation's partner universities?
Yes, if a student is accepted as a transfer student into one of our partner universities, they can still be considered by the Foundation for the scholarship. However, it is up to the university to decide on the credit transfer conditions.

Can I apply to pursue a second bachelor or master’s degree?
No.  Applications will not be accepted froms students who already completed a degree and wish to pursue a second one. 

Can I apply for a scholarship to more than one partner university? How does the Foundation select which university the scholarship will be offered at?
Which university a student is offered a scholarship to depends on: (1) scholar's preference, and (2) the Foundation’s policies.  Therefore, students can, if they wish, indicate a preference for more than one university in their application, including both universities in the Arab World and abroad.  If a student is considering studying in the region and there is a partner university in the country where they live, the Foundation will prioritize providing scholarships in the student's country of residence.  

Does applying to the Al Ghurair STEM Scholars Program also mean I have automatically applied to the university and programs selected?
No. It is very important to understand that the process of applying and receiving admission at one of our partner universities is separate from applying to the Al Ghurair STEM Scholars Program. The Foundation expects students to secure admission to their university of choice. The Foundation is not responsible for coordinating students’ university applications.  To receive help with applying to their preferred universities, students are advised to communicate directly with the universities. It is not expected that all students, at the time of application, would have already secured admission to a university. However, if a student is selected for the scholarship by the Foundation, the scholarship will be conditional on also being admitted by the university itself.

Therefore, in parallel to applying to the scholarship through the Foundation, students should make sure they:

  • Study for and take any required English exams such as TOEFL, SAT or IELTS depending on the requirements of the university of choice
  • Apply directly to the university or universities of their choice in the degree programs they indicated on their scholarship application
  • Apply for financial aid at the university or universities of their choice
  • Apply for housing from the university, if required

Will the Foundation pay for the application fees or cost of official exams required by the university? What about the seat reservation/confirmation fee required by the university once admission is already confirmed?
Paying for the university application fee and the cost of exams is the responsibility of the student. However, the Foundation will cover the cost of the seat reservation/confirmation fee only if the applicant has already been selected and confirmed as an Al Ghurair STEM Scholar by the Foundation.

If I am not able to meet the English requirements of the university, will the Foundation cover the cost of English language training or an additional English course/term?
The Foundation’s scholarship awards are conditional on students meeting a basic standard of English to be able to succeed at university. If students do not meet the English requirements of their intended major, the Foundation may consider supporting them with additional English classes, but this depends on their level and the university’s assessment of their need. The Foundation cannot support students who require significant support in English language.

APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCESS

What information and documents will be required for the application?
The application contains questions about the student's personal details, family information, academic achievements, and family and personal finances, among others. There are also a number of official documents that are required as attachments to the application including, but not limited to:

  • Academic transcripts showing grades from a student's latest full year of study and official results on standardized exams (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS etc.), if available
  • Salary certificates or other proof of personal income and the income of parents and other household members
  • Statement of fees from educational institutions that the student, their siblings and/or other relevant family members are attending
  • Bank statements (personal and parents’)

How long will it take me to complete the application?  Can I submit a hard copy application?
We expect the application to take at most two weeks to complete, including the time needed to get any official documents required for the application. If all of documents are ready, the application can be completed within a day or two. We encourage students to start preparing their application early. Please note the application for the scholarship must be completed strictly online, and in English, through our student portal. No hard copies will be accepted.

My grades from this academic term or year will not be out before the scholarship application deadline. What can I do?
Applicants should provide the most recent grades available showing at least a full year of study. For example:

  • If the student is in high school, grades from both the last full year of study and the two years before that will be required. For example, if students in Grade 12, would submit their full grades from grades 10 and 11.
  • If the student is already pursuing a bachelor or master’s program, the cumulative average from the previous, most recent completed year and the two years before that will be required. If students have not yet completed the first semester at university, then grade 12 high school grades are required.
  • If students attended university for more than 2 semesters and dropped out, the university grades are required, not your high school grades.
     

How can I create a CV if I have not had any work experience?
A CV can include a lot more than formal employment experience. This can include school clubs, volunteer experience, hobbies, achievements, and any other experiences which reflect the applicant’s extracurricular activities, community service activities, and special characteristics. 

How can I best answer the essay questions? Is it okay if I write less than the maximum word count?
While there are no minimum requirements on length, please note that essays are a very important component of the applicants' assessment. Students are encouraged to make an effort to write the best response possible. In these essay responses, we are looking for answers that reflect student leadership potential, resilience, good communication skills, and a commitment to giving back.   

How will the Foundation select the scholars? What is the process?
After the application deadline has closed, the Foundation will review and assess all applications. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Based on the assessment of the application, the Foundation will invite a shortlist of applicants to an interview, either face to face or on Skype. The interview is an important step of the application process in which the candidates will be asked about their achievements, experiences, and plans for the future.The Foundation may also ask questions to verify some of the information provided in the application. Shortly after the interview, the final list of scholars will be announced. Please keep in mind that the scholarship will be conditional on final admission to one of the partner universities. At that point, applicants who have not been selected will also be informed. Please review the timeline on the STEM Scholars Program page for key dates to remember.

What criteria does the Foundation use to assess the applications? What should I focus on to improve my chances of getting accepted?
Scholars are selected on a competitive basis as there are a set number of scholarships each year. When assessing applications, the Foundation is looking for:

  • Evidence of financial need
  • Academic excellence
  • Leadership potential
  • A commitment to giving back to the community and/or the region

It is important to submit a complete and high-quality application with accurate and honest information. The application offers a chance for applicants to present their interests, goals, and experiences through their CV, a number of required essays and a section in which they can highlight any specific hardship circumstances they have experienced.

OPEN LEARNING SCHOLARS

What is the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program?
Open Learning is a movement that has made learning more flexible, allowing students to access it for free online and wherever they may be. At the higher education level, this means that university-level courses from hundreds of universities across the world are available for anyone to study online. These courses are known as massive online open courses (MOOCs).

The Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program is designed for youth who are passionate about developing their skills in the field of STEM, but who may not be able to travel or forgo their current employment. It gives them the chance to access innovative online and blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online) accredited degree programs and recognized credentials.

How can I apply to be an Al Ghurair Open Learning scholar?
We are currently offering scholarships for two MicroMasters - the MITx MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management (SCM) and in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. Scholarship applications for both programs are based on a rolling application basis. Students can submit their applications on our student portal at any time, without a deadline, by clicking on "Ready to Apply" at the bottom of the page. 

MITx MicroMasters

What is a MicroMasters?
The online MicroMasters is a new flexible professional credential that can be gained online, available to anyone in the Arab world and beyond as long as they have the ambition and self-discipline to succeed.

Why should Arab youth consider enrolling in the MITx MicroMasters?
Each MITx MicroMasters program consists of five individual online courses (equivalent to one semester on campus), which upon successful completion will result in an MIT credential. This credential has been lauded by top employers in the Arab world and globally.

For the highest achievers who wish to obtain a full Masters, they can compete to be considered for completing the second semester at MIT or another university that recognizes the credential and offers similar programs. In addition, the Foundation will offer a full scholarship to the Open Learning Program scholars who fulfill its eligibility criteria (academic achievement and financial need), complete the MicroMasters and are accepted into the second semester of the Masters at MIT (also known as Blended Masters) on a competitive basis.

What other online programs will the Foundation be supporting? When will they begin?
The Foundation is working to support Arab students who wish to complete two other MicroMasters offered by MIT. The first is in Data Science and Management and the details of the second will be announced in the coming months. To stay informed of these programs and their start dates, follow us on our social media (see icons at the bottom of the page), sign up for our newsletter, and check back on our website from time to time. 

What financial support can I receive from the Foundation for the MITx DEDP or SCM MicroMasters program?
The support we provide for the DEDP or SCM MicroMasters is of three kinds. All Arab youth who fulfill our eligibility criteria can receive:

  1.  Full reimbursement of the total cost of the DEDP/SCM MicroMasters program after successfully completing the program (consisting of five courses & exams) within 2 years.

For a select number of academically exceptional Arab students with a background in and a commitment to this field and who can demonstrate their financial need, we offer:

  1. Scholarship for the DEDP/SCM MicroMasters program (to be completed within 2 years)

Finally, any of the above students who (1) fulfill our eligibility criteria (academic achievement and financial need), (2) successfully complete the MITx MicroMasters in DEDP/SCM, and (3) receive an acceptance from MIT to complete the MIT Blended DEDP/SCM Master’s Program (this involves traveling to MIT for the second semester of the Master’s program at MIT) will be eligible for:

  1. Full scholarship for the MIT Blended Master’s Program

What other support can I receive from the Foundation for the MITx MicroMasters programs?
The scholarship will allow students to access our network of Al Ghurair Scholars across the Arab region, and other opportunities that may arise. Students will also have an opportunity to be featured on our website, social media, and other communications.

How long is the scholarship valid for?
The scholarship for the MITx MicroMasters programs is valid for two years, as long as the student abides by the requirements of the scholarship. If the student is unable to complete the program within that period of time, the Foundation will disqualify the student and discontinue its financial support. Please note that the two-year policy only applies to the MicroMasters program. If students are applying to the Blended Master’s program at MIT, they will only be eligible for a scholarship if they secure entry in the first upcoming session, after they have completed their MicroMasters. If they secure entry one or two years later, they will unfortunately not be eligible to receive the scholarship. In addition, if they are selected for the Blended Master’s program at MIT, they will be given one semester to complete the program.

What are my responsibilities as an Open Learning Scholar in the MITx MicroMasters program?
As a scholar enrolled in the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program, you are expected to:

  1.  Pass all 5 courses and exam(s) in order to remain an Al Ghurair Scholar.

    • For DEDP - If you do not pass the exam for a course, you are permitted to resit the exam once. However, if you do not pass it the second time, you will be disqualified from the program and will not be eligible for further support for the program.

    • For SCM – If you do not pass any of the courses or exam, you will no longer be allowed to serve as an Al Ghurair Scholar, you will disqualified from the program, and you will not be eligible for further support for the program.

  2. Sign an agreement with the Foundation detailing the scholarship benefits and requirements, including committing you to keep in touch with the OLS program team at AGFE to inform them of your registration in every course and to provide updates along the way and at the end of each of them.

What does the full scholarship for the MIT Blended Master’s program include?
Any Arab scholar who (1) fulfills our eligibility criteria, (2) successfully completes the MITx MicroMasters in DEDP or SCM, and (3) receives an acceptance from MIT to complete the MIT Blended DEDP/SCM Master’s Program (i.e. the second semester of the Master’s program at MIT), the Foundation will offer a full scholarship that covers:

  • University tuition and other mandatory university fees

  • Health insurance, as per the university plan

  • Housing costs, travel airfare and visa costs for students living away from family

  • Transportation, books, and other living expenses

What if I don’t quality to receive a scholarship, can I still get reimbursed if I successfully complete the MITx DEDP/SCM MicroMasters program?
Yes, all Arab youth who fit our eligibility criteria can qualify to be reimbursed after they complete the MicroMasters within 2 years. As long as you submit an application for the Open Learning Scholars Program on our student portal and you can provide a certificate of completion for the MicroMasters Program within 2 years of your start date, you will be eligible to be reimbursed by the Foundation for your tuition fees.

If I don’t qualify to receive a scholarship for the MITx MicroMasters program, but I successfully complete it through the reimbursement model, can I still qualify to receive the full scholarship for the Blended Master’s program?
Yes, you can.

MITx SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (SCM) MICROMASTERS PROGRAM

Where can I find more information about the MITx MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management (SCM)?
You can find all the information about the program, its structure and components, time commitment required, and credentials and certificates on MIT’s MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management website here.

What financial support do I get as an Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholar in the MITx MicroMasters in SCM?
The scholarship covers the tuition fees for each of the 5 courses and the capstone exam.

MITX DATA, ECONOMICS, AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY (DEDP) MICROMASTERS PROGRAM

Where can I find more information about the MITx DEDP MicroMasters?
 At the Foundation, we offer support and information related to the scholarship only. For any questions about the DEDP program itself, please see the program page, read the FAQs, and contact the course team if you still need guidance.

What does the scholarship for the MITx DEDP MicroMasters program cover?
The scholarship covers the tuition fees for each of the 5 courses and their exams. As the exams must be taken in person at one of the test centers registered with the program, if no test center is available in the country of our scholars, the Foundation will cover the costs of one trip to the closest test center to complete the exams. The Foundation, however, will not cover any additional trips to the countries where test centers can be found, or any other related costs.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

What are the eligibility criteria for applying to the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program?

  • Be an Arab citizen who does not have another citizenship.

  • Be between 15 and 30 years old (students who are 30 years old or older are not eligible)

  • Be proficient in English to standards acceptable by top universities

  • Preference will be given to applicants who have lived in the Arab World for at least 12 years of their life

If I am 30 years old, am I eligible to apply?
Unfortunately not. We define youth as being anyone from the age of 15 to 29. As long as you are 29 at the time of application, you can be considered for our programs.

What if I turn 30 during the program? Am I still eligible for the Blended Master’s Program?
Yes, you are. As long as you are below the age of 30 upon starting the program, you are eligible for all components of it.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

What type of documents do I need to apply?
Although all students who fulfill our eligibility criteria are invited to apply, the selection process for the full scholarship will be very competitive. The documents you need to apply are your identification documents, your CV, as well as some information and documents about your family’s financial status.

What is the application deadline for the scholarship for the MITx MicroMasters programs?
There is no application deadline. This scholarships will be offered on a rolling application basis. Students can submit their applications on our student portal at any time. You can expect to hear from us no sooner than between 4-6 weeks after you submit your application. Please do not contact us before then as we are unable to make any exceptions for students.

What if I receive a scholarship for the MicroMasters after the courses have started? Can I enroll after the start date?
For DEDP - The 5 courses are all offered three times a year - February, June, and September. However, students can enroll in them at any time. The courses require a serious commitment of time on a weekly basis. We encourage you to sign up for the courses from the beginning so that you do not fall behind in the work.

For SCM – The 5 courses are offered on a regular basis throughout the year. Students can enroll in them at any time. The courses require a serious commitment of time on a weekly basis. We encourage you to sign up for the courses from the beginning so that you do not fall behind in the work.

What if I don’t hear back from the Foundation in time for when the courses start? Do I have to pay for the course and then be paid back by the Foundation?
Our scholarship application process is open all year round and takes up to six weeks to be processed, so it is possible you will not hear back from the Foundation before the start dates of the courses or the dates by which you must make a payment for a course. The Foundation will do its best to review the applications in a timely manner, but also please make sure you submit your scholarship application early enough so that you receive a response from the Foundation before the payment is due. The Foundation does not offer reimbursements for individual courses. 

What criteria does the Foundation use to select scholars for the program?
We are looking for Arab youth who fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Academic excellence, with the background and skills needed to succeed in this program

  2. Demonstrated commitment to and leadership potential in the field of study

  3. Have financial need

How can I best answer the essay question?
The essay is an important component of our applicant assessment process. Students are encouraged to make an effort to write the best response possible. In these essay responses, we are looking for answers that reflect student interest in the field of study, leadership potential, and communication skills. 

STUDENT PORTAL

I completed a profile but I am ineligible to apply to my program of choice.
If you cannot select the program of your choice or access its application after completing your profile, this is because the information you provided in the profile section indicated that you are not eligible for the program. Always make sure you are aware of the program’s eligibility criteria and review these carefully on the relevant program page on our website. In addition, please review all the information you provided in your profile to make sure it is accurate.

I cannot upload a document.
Please make sure all the documents you are trying to upload are in PDF format and make sure to click “Save” on your application portal before starting any upload and after you complete the upload. If you are not sure how to convert a document to PDF, please note that Microsoft Word allows any document to be saved as PDF. When selecting “Save As” on a Word Document, there is an option under the File Name, to select “Save As Type.” There you can choose PDF. In addition, all documents should be relatively small in size (less than 5 MB). We encourage students to name their documents according to what their content is to avoid any confusion.

I cannot change information or upload a new document after submitting an application.
Once an application is submitted, it is not possible to make any more changes. There are only certain questions, such as those in the Profile section that will remain open for changes after submitting the application. If there is an urgent need to change information which may impact our evaluation of your application, please email the relevant program about that but note that these requests are very rarely accepted.

Can I submit an application in Arabic?
No. All answers to the questions in your profile and application should be in English, including your name. As for uploaded documents, while the preference is to submit these in English, the Foundation can, under special circumstances, accept some official documents in Arabic, provided that they are of high quality and legible.

My choice is not available in one of the drop down menus. What do I do?
Please review the program page to try to find the answer to your question. If you still cannot find an answer, please send an email to the relevant program you are applying to. Please give the team 3-5 business days to respond to your questions before following up.

Do I have to complete my application in one session or can I save it and come back to it later?
You can “save” your application and come back to it. There is a “save” button on the bottom of each page in the portal – whether at the Profile stage or in the application itself. Please make sure you save your progress regularly to avoid losing work you have already completed.

How can I get help in filling out my application?
The Foundation will host several online sessions to answer any questions related to the process of filling out an application. Please check the events section on the “Our Programs” page regularly to know when these sessions will take place and prepare any questions you may have.

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