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Financial relief for college students affected by Covid-19

Gulf News 2020-06-28 08:30:51

Higher education institutions in the UAE are going through a massive transformation. Welcoming the next cohort of students in the middle of a pandemic is no easy task. After a lot of forward planning, universities have put in place a blended model of education for the next academic year and have taken admissions online, with virtual campus tours the norm.

With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the economy and many people facing pay cuts, one major concern for students and parents has been the extent of assistance they would receive from universities. Most of the leading institutions have tuition grants and scholarships for meritorious students.

Taking the challenging time into consideration, many have extended the reach to include more students. For instance, the British University in Dubai (BUiD) announced that it has expanded its scholarships offering up to 50 per cent to all high schools’ achievers so that they are not limited to a few top students.

American University of Sharjah has also instituted a Summer 2020 Financial Assistance Grant to support AUS students undergoing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19.

“Around two-thirds of all American University of Sharjah students receive some form of financial assistance,” explains Prof. Kevin Mitchell, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (AUS). “With approximately Dh85 million in need- and merit-based grants and scholarships awarded to AUS students each year, the unique experience afforded by AUS is widely accessible to talented and ambitious individuals, regardless of their financial circumstances.”

AUS has instituted a Summer 2020 Financial Assistance Grant to support AUS students undergoing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19.

Manipal Dubai has also offered assistance to those in financial distress. “The Al Da’em Scholarship is a special initiative for all the students of Manipal Dubai wherein families under financial distress can apply and avail appropriate benefits,” says Dr S. V. Kota Reddy, Academic President, MAHE Dubai. “Under this we have created a special fund for helping students affected by the Covid-19 situation. We encourage parents and students to reach out to us in case special circumstances arise.”

Amity University Dubai offers eight different types of scholarships that new and existing students can apply for. “Payment plans have been put in place for parents who are unable to make large payments at one time," says Dr Vajahat Hussain, CEO of Amity Education Middle East. "A range of early-bird offers are also available for new applicants.”