“Education and Knowledge” launches the “Khotwa” program to send 6000 male and female students


The Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Head of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, launched the “Khotwa” program to send Emirati students to study in American and Canadian community colleges and international universities, at a total cost of up to 1.9 billion dirhams, with the aim of developing and strengthening national competencies, providing students with the skills necessary to meet future challenges, enabling them to achieve their full potential, and contributing to advancing the development of the knowledge-based national economy.

The department seeks, through “step”, to send up to 6000 Emirati male and female students, who fulfill the program’s facilitating conditions, to continue their university studies in the United States of America and Canada, where the Abu Dhabi government will cover all student scholarship costs.

Sarah Awad Issa Muslim, Minister of State for Early Education and Head of the Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi, said: “The (Khotwa) program is an important investment in the future of generations, as we support a new category of Emirati students, who were unable to join the programs of foreign missions previously, and provide They have the opportunity to realize their full potential and study in international colleges and universities, thus enabling them to play their role in developing the national economy, as active and productive individuals in their society.”

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The new program will be implemented starting from the current academic year 2023/2022, as registration for the program has been opened via the website: https://ad.adek.gov.ae/khotwa.

While the department aims to send about 100 Emirati students this year, the number of students will increase annually, bringing the total number of students on scholarships to 6000 students by 2028.

The “Step” program is distinguished by its simplified admission criteria, whereby high school graduates from public and private schools, and educational partnership schools in Abu Dhabi can submit applications to join the program, if they achieve an overall average of at least 65% in the twelfth grade, and a result of no less than 3.0 in the English Language Proficiency Test (IELTS).

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The same conditions also apply to national service graduates who do not have a bachelor’s degree, bearing in mind that priority will be given to candidates who meet the requirements from families benefiting from social support programs.

In the event that the students do not possess the language skills required to study abroad, the students will be able to study English for a preparatory year in the scholarship country, where the scholarship covers the costs of this year as well.

The program provides a unique opportunity for these students to enroll in a specific community college in the United States of America and Canada for a period of two years, and then transfer the credit hours of study to any international or local university of their choice, upon meeting the necessary conditions and studying for an additional two years to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

During their studies at community colleges, students will reside with host families in the country of study, as the Department of Education and Knowledge selected these families in cooperation with the most important organizations specialized in securing host families in North American countries.

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Muslim said: “During the design of the scholarship programs, we are keen to choose the specializations that enhance the employment opportunities for scholarship students after their graduation, and enable them to serve the needs of the national economy, as these specializations are chosen in coordination with our partners from government agencies, national companies and private sector companies. This model has proven successful, especially with the employment rates of graduates of our scholarship programs exceeding 90%.”

The Acting Executive Director – Talent Empowerment Sector in the department, Dr. Bashayer Al Matrooshi, said: “The preparatory training program includes a set of behavioral interviews, self-assessment sessions, case studies, realistic simulation sessions, and personal skills development.”

• «Khotwa» is characterized by simplified admission criteria, whereby high school graduates can submit applications to join if they achieve 65%.

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