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 one MicroMasters and that is the MITx MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management (SCM). The application for it is currently closed. Please check back for other announcements in coming months. 

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 Master’s, they can compete to be considered for completing the second semester at MIT or another university that offers similar programs.

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, sign up to our newsletter here.

MITx SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT MICROMASTERS

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?
To encourage our scholars to complete the MicroMasters, we will reimburse anyone accepted for the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program who successfully completes all 5 courses and the capstone exam. We will also cover the full cost of tuition, accommodation, health insurance, monthly stipend, and travel of any scholar who is accepted to complete the Masters at MIT (for one semester). However, you will only be considered for the scholarship for the Masters at MIT if you first completed the MicroMasters through the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program.

Please note that if you receive the scholarship for MITx SCM MicroMasters, you must be signed up to receive a Verified Certificate in all of the MITx SCM MicroMasters courses, which requires a payment of $150 for each course, as well as around $600 to receive the official credential after completing all 5 courses and the capstone exam. The total cost of the MicroMasters is approximately $1,350, and we will reimburse all our Scholars who complete it.

What other support do I get as an Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholar enrolled in the MITx MicroMasters?
We will support all our online learning scholars with a network of Al Ghurair Scholars across the region, and other opportunities that may arise. They will also have an opportunity to be featured on our website, social media, and other communications.

What type of the documents do I need to apply?
You only need the following to apply:

  • Passport copy
  • CV
  • A strong passion for the field of supply chain management 

What are key dates for applying to the scholarship for the MITx MicroMasters in SCM?

  • November 10, 2016. The Al Ghurair scholarship application is closed. 

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

  • Pass all 5 courses and the capstone exam in order to remain an Al Ghurair Scholar. If you do not pass any of the courses or exam, you will no longer be allowed to serve as an Al Ghurair Scholar and you will not be eligible for reimbursement of the MicroMasters program.
  • Sign a pledge with the Foundation stating your commitment to check in with a representative at AGFE to inform them of your registration in every course, and to submit your final grades at the end of each course.

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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