The Rhodes Trust, a pre-eminent international scholarship programme established in 1903, has announced the launch of the Rhodes Scholarships for the UAE that will enable postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.
A statement issued yesterday said that following a two year trial programme, during which time they were known as the Falcon Scholarships, the UAE Scholarship now has full Rhodes status. All Falcon Scholars, past and present, will now be known as Rhodes Scholars.
The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as leaders for the world's future. One to two Rhodes Scholars from the UAE will be selected annually, and the total value of the award will be more than GBP50,000 per annum. The Trust is seeking funds to permanently endow the Scholarship for UAE.
The Warden of Rhodes House, Charles Conn, commented, "We have been delighted with the Falcon Scholars who have joined the Rhodes community to date, and it is a very positive step that the Scholarships can now be known as the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates. This further marks our commitment to the expansion of the Scholarships, and the goal of facilitating truly international conversations and collaborations here in Oxford and beyond."
Two Rhodes Scholars will start at Oxford this year. The first, Arfa Rehman a student of Social Research and Public Policy, and Visual Arts at NYU Abu Dhabi, was announced earlier in the year, while the second is confirmed yesterday, Hamel Al Qubaisi, a student of BA in Political Science from NYU Abu Dhabi.
Selection Committee member, Zaki Nusseibeh CVO CBE, Cultural Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, commented, "The launching of a full Rhodes scholarship for UAE students to Oxford University in acknowledgment of the success of its Falcon Scholars programme is the consecration of the country's major achievements in creating an international centre of higher education serving a cosmopolitan community as a central plank of its durable development strategy. I am delighted that our students will be able to contribute to this growing fraternity of talented leaders who can play an active role in building a better future for their societies."
Secretary to the 2015 Selection Committee, Dr. Christoph Avenarius commented, "By introducing the Falcon Scholarship to the UAE in 2014, the Rhodes Trust added a new constituency in recognition of UAE's very strong and cosmopolitan student body. It signals trust in the UAE's growing global significance and in the capability of Oxford trained leaders to make a positive impact on society later in their professional life that these are now to be fully titled as the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates.
The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals and the UAE Rhodes Scholars will join this remarkable community in Oxford.
Established in 1903 under a bequest from Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship programme in the world.
A class of 83 Scholars is selected each year from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Rhodes Scholarships also expanded to include China in March 2015.