ABOUT THE PROGRAM
What is the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program (YTP) is the first technology-based program in the Arab World to support Emirati youth in their preparation for university and the job market.
YTP is designed specifically for Emirati youth who are preparing to enter university, or are in the initial foundation year. By raising awareness of the higher education and career options available to Emirati youth, YTP empowers them to make well-informed decisions about their future. The program supports youth with the skills necessary to grow into adult citizens who contribute effectively to the future of the UAE.
Who is eligible for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Any Emirati student in the UAE is eligible for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, as long as you are between the ages of 15 and 25.
Why is the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program only open to Emiratis?
At its inception, the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program was designed to support Emirati youth in preparing for a changing world of learning and working. As the program expands, we hope to bring the program to learners across the Arab world.
Can students in the Foundation Year at university apply for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Yes, students in the Foundation Year may apply for the program to further develop skills and to gain career counseling.
Is the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program only for students in private schools?
No, Emirati students in both private and public schools in any emirate may register for the Young Thinkers Program.
Is the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program open to students who want to earn a technical or vocational education?
Yes! The program is designed to help students gain the skills needed for success in any type of educational system.
What is the deadline for applying to the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Applying for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is on a rolling basis. You may apply at any time.
Do I have to have a certain grade point average to enroll in the program?
No! The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is open to students at any grade point average.
How do I apply to the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
To apply to the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, click here to submit your application on our student portal. Detailed instructions on how to complete your application can be found on the site. After submitting your application, you will receive a link to access the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform.
I am already an Al Ghurair Young Thinker. How can I access the digital platform?
To access the digital platform, simply click here!
What will I receive as an Al Ghurair Young Thinker?
As an Al Ghurair Young Thinker, you will have access to a digital platform that hosts three main components:
- Online coaching to personalize your learning journey and a tailored college and career planning app that provides you with college and university options in the UAE, region and internationally, as well as valuable information on up-and-coming careers in the country and region
- Tailored coursework on the soft skills that youth require for future success, including time management and collaboration techniques
Is there a mobile application for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Not yet! The mobile app for the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is coming in 2018!
How long will I be enrolled in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program? Will I ever need to re-apply?
Once you enroll in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, you will never need to re-apply. You may continue to use the platform for as long as you want.
What will be expected of me as an Al Ghurair Young Thinker?
As an Al Ghurair Young Thinker, you are only expected to stay motivated about exploring your college and career options. You should engage in all components of the digital platform, from exploring college and career information, completing the coursework, and chatting with your Success Advisor. The program exists to support you!
Do I have an obligation to attend a certain university as an Al Ghurair Young Thinker?
No. Al Ghurair Young Thinkers are under no obligation to attend a certain university.
How long will it take me to finish the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform will consistently be updated with new information and coursework. A progress bar and our badging system will help you monitor your progress in the program. If you complete all the courses, you are encouraged to interact with your Success Advisor, as well as explore the college and career information on the platform.
Is the material on the digital platform only in English?
No! All of the information on the digital platform is in English and Arabic. You may choose to use the platform in whichever language you feel most comfortable.
What do I do if I don’t understand the coursework on the platform?
Your Success Advisor is there to help! If you are confused about your coursework, start a chat with your Success Advisor and ask as many questions as you need to.
Why do I need to learn skills in subjects I have never even heard of?
To keep up with today’s world, we must be lifelong learners. While you may have never heard of certain skills, we have customized the coursework to help you be as best prepared as possible for college and the job market. Don’t be scared – learning something new is fun!
Will I be expected to work at a specific company advised by AGFE upon graduation?
No, Al Ghurair Young Thinkers are not expected to commit to a specific job offer upfront.
Will the digital platform advertise available jobs?
Students enrolled in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program will have access to relevant information as it pertains to business and industries across the country. While specific jobs may not be posted on the digital platform, students will be exposed to top employers and opportunities in the UAE.
How much does this program cost?
Absolutely nothing! The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is an Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education program, powered by Arizona State University, and was designed to support you with the skills needed to become college and career ready. We offer this program to you completely free of charge.
How will the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education select Young Thinkers? What is the process?
The Foundation will review and assess all complete, submitted applications. Students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements will be registered as Al Ghurair Young Thinkers and will have access to the digital platform.
ABOUT THE me3 TOOL
What is me3?
me3 is an interactive quiz tool that will help you explore majors and careers that fit your interests and passions. On the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers digital platform, you start by choosing images based on your interests. Your interests will match with a list of career options that you can rank in order of preference. Then me3 will give you a list of majors that could lead you to that career.
How does me3 work?
me3 is designed from research and a Euclidean distance matching algorithm. Basically, as you make choices in the visual quiz, me3 is calculating your RIASEC score which represents your levels of interest in data, things, people, and ideas. Then me3 compares your scores to those of more than 500 careers based on existing data. The results you see are the careers with scores that are most similar to your individual results.
The RIASEC model has been studied for almost 60 years and has more empirical support than any other career theory. A match between one’s interest code and related careers has been linked to greater career stability and job satisfaction. Who doesn’t want that?
How many times can I take me3?
You can take the me3 game as many times as you like on the platform!
Do I have to study what me3 suggests?
No, of course not! me3 exists as a tool to help raise your awareness on the majors and careers that exist in today’s (and tomorrow’s!) world. While me3 should give you results that match your interests, you are free to pursue any major you would like.
What courses are available on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers digital platform?
Currently, there are eight courses hosted on the platform. Each month, a new course will be added, so keep checking back for new material!
Why were these courses chosen?
The courses on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program platform were designed to address college readiness gaps that exist globally. We have tailored the courses specifically for you to help you succeed in university and the job market.
How long will it take me to finish each course?
Each course will take you between one and two hours to complete.
What if I don’t understand some of the tasks in the course?
It’s okay! Reach out to your Success Advisor on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform for support.
What if I don’t like the courses on the platform?
That’s okay! The courses are voluntary, so choose the courses that you prefer.
How can I suggest courses I want to see on the platform?
Tell your Success Advisor what courses you want to see! We’re here to help you succeed, and want you to benefit from the platform as much as you can!
What do I do when I finish the courses on the platform?
Congratulations! Keep checking back for additional courses.
What is a Success Adviser?
Our Success Advisers help Young Thinkers set goals and improve study habits, and guide students in the exploration of their college and career choices.
Why are there Success Advisors on the platform?
Success Advisors are available to interact with you through the secure chat feature on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform. Success Advisors help personalize your learning journey.
Will my Success Advisor understand the context of the UAE?
Yes! All Success Advisors on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform have extensive experience in the Middle East and understand the local context.
I’m a girl and I don’t feel comfortable talking to a male Success Advisor. What can I do?
Don’t worry. You will only be paired with a Success Advisor of the same gender.
What types of questions can I ask my Success Advisor?
You can ask your Success Advisor college and career related questions, as well as any questions you may have about the coursework on the platform.
Will I ever meet my Success Advisor in person?
No. Your Success Advisor will only be able to interact with you through the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform.
What language will my Success Advisor speak?
Success Advisors are bilingual, so feel free to use either English or Arabic when chatting with them.
What is a badge?
A badge is a visual representation of an accomplishment, achievement or skill acquisition—more granular than a formal degree, but helps to make incremental learning more visible.
When will I earn each badge?
As you progress through the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, you will earn a series of badges that reflect your progress.
What can I do with my badges?
Share, share, share! Show off your progress in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, and tell your friends! Badges are social media friendly, so you can share them on any other digital platform.
Will I receive a certificate when I finish a course or the full program?
The badges you earn as you progress through the platform are digital credentials that may be viewed as online certificates.
How do I know what my child is doing on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is designed to help your child be college ready and job market successful. All material on the digital platform is intended to support their learning journey and provide them with relevant, up-to-date information on college and career options.
How can I help my child succeed in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Encourage your child to share their experience in the program. Ask them questions about what they are learning and how their Success Advisors are supporting them.
Can I take the courses myself?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform is student facing, and you must be registered as a student. Encourage your child to talk to you about the material they are learning in the courses!
How can I ensure my child’s safety on the platform?
Young Thinker Success Advisers have undergone extensive training in the mission of the Young Thinkers Program and passed rigorous background checks. All Young Thinkers must abide by a Code of Conduct and all interaction on the digital platform is monitored regularly.
How do I know what my student is doing on the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program is designed to help students be college and job ready. All material on the digital platform is intended to support their learning journey and provide them with relevant, up-to-date information on college and career options.
How can I help my students succeed in the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program?
Encourage your students to share their experience in the program. Ask them questions about what they are learning and how their Success Advisors are supporting them. You may also integrate some of the tools they are learning about on the platform in your classroom!
Can I take the courses myself?
The Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program digital platform is student facing, and you must be registered as a student.
How can I suggest courses that address topics my students need support in?
We are developing our courses using a human-centered design approach, meaning we design our programs based on what our users want and need. We encourage you to contact the Foundation here with your suggestions.
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).
How can I apply to be an Al Ghurair Open Learning scholar?
The Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program is designed for youth who are passionate about developing their skills in the field of STEM, Education, Healthcare and more, and who want to learn new specializations and pursue innovative degree programs relevant to the job market. Studying online through the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars program will give them access to this type of education that might not be available or accessible to them where they live.
We are currently offering scholarships for a selection of online master’s degrees at Arizona State University (ASU). Scholarship applications for the ASU online master’s degrees are open multiple times a year. More information can be found in the section specified below or on the Open Learning Scholars page.
Can I apply to pursue a second master’s degree or credential while being currently enrolled in or after completing a master’s degree?
No. Applications from students who are currently enrolled in or have already completed the degree for which they are applying will be declined. For example, if you have a master’s degree and wish to apply for a second master’s degree in another field, you unfortunately will be disqualified from receiving a scholarship from the Foundation. The Foundation’s policy is focused on giving access to students who have not previously had the opportunity to complete their higher education (undergraduate,master’s degrees, or credentials). You cannot pursue a second master's alongside the ASU program.
Does applying to the Al Ghurair Open Learning 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 one of the Al Ghurair Programs. 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/IELTS or other exams (such as GRE) depending on the requirements of the university and program of choice
- Apply directly to the university or universities of choice in the degree programs or credentials they indicated on their scholarship application
Can I apply for more than one program at a time?
Although you can apply to more than one program at a time, every student is only permitted to receive one scholarship for only one of the Foundation’s programs. In other words, if you have received a scholarship (or reimbursement) for the MITx MicroMasters, you will be disqualified from receiving a scholarship from other scholarships in the Open Learning Scholarships Program, the STEM Scholars Program, or the Young Thinkers Program, and vice versa. This policy is in place to allow as many students as possible the opportunity to access our scholarships.
Can I submit any required documentation before or after I receive a scholarship by email?
You should submit any requested documents or reports on your progress in the program on the student portal, unless otherwise specific by a member of our team. If you do not respond to our requests in a timely manner, please note that you risk having your scholarship withdrawn.
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.
Arizona State University (ASU) Online Master's Degrees
What is the application deadline for the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program at ASU?
Students are invited to apply for the scholarship throughout the year for three ASU start dates in Fall, Spring, and Summer. The call for scholarship applications will be opened regularly throughout the year. Please check the program page for more details on the specific dates for the next application cycle.
What ASU online master’s programs does the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program support?
You can find the list of supported programs, and further information on each, here. For additional questions regarding ASU, please communicate with the University staff.
What does studying online at ASU look like? I want to understand more what I should expect.
ASU has developed a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address a lot of the concerns prospective students have about the application process, the experience of studying online, and what to expect. You can find them all here.
Are ASU’s online master’s degrees accredited by the Ministries of Education in the Arab world?
ASU’s online degrees are equivalent to their on-campus degrees and the transcripts received by graduates for either modality look identical. Although many ministries of education in the Arab world still do not recognize online degrees, it will be the responsibility of every student to seek the attestation of their degrees from their respective Ministry of Education.
If I get accepted into the Al Ghurair Open Learning Scholars Program at ASU, what will be expected of me?
In order to maintain your scholarship, as an Al Ghurair Scholar you will be expected to successfully complete your online master’s degree within a period of no more than 3 years. You will also be expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Finally, you will be expected to be responsive to the Foundation’s requests for information about your academic experience and other relevant details throughout and following the duration of your studies. Should a scholar not abide by these requirements, the student will risk being pulled out of the program and will not be permitted to apply to any other program at the Foundation in the future.
APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCESS
What information and documents will be required for the scholarship 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:
- Transcript of the most recent completed academic year/degree
- Results for all standardized tests taken (TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GRE, …), if relevant
- Salary certificate for every household member who is employed.
- Audited financial reports or tax declaration for business, for every business owned by the household.
- Proof of freelance work, for every household member who is a freelancer.
- 6 month statements for savings and current bank accounts for the applicant, their parents and their spouse (if they are married).
- Family house rent contract, if applicable.
- Proof of continuing education and annual cost of education for each household member currently studying.
- Proof of physical or mental special needs or chronic illness among the household members.
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.
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, required essays, questions on leadership experience and extracurricular activities, and a section in which they can highlight any specific hardship circumstances they have experienced.
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 in English, through our student portal. No hard copies will be accepted.
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 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 at ASU. At that point, applicants who have not been selected will also be informed.
Please note that this program is no longer accepting applications.
What if I don’t qualify to receive a scholarship for the MicroMasters, can I still get reimbursed if I successfully complete the MITx SCM MicroMasters program?
No, the Foundation will no longer consider applications for reimbursement for the Micromasters.
Does the Foundation offer scholarships to the Blended Masters program at MIT or at the MIT Global SCALE Network?
No, the Foundation will no longer consider applications for the Blended Masters program at either MIT or any of the MIT Global SCALE Network.
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. In addition, you can send an email to [email protected] if you have a technical question about the application portal. We advise that you include a screenshot of any error/isse you are facing so the team can quickly look into it.