Sheikh Khalifa Scholarship process on hold amid campus closure

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AUS will delay reviewing applications for the Sheikh Khalifa Scholarships (COURTESY PHOTO)

By Aminath Ifasa

UNIVERSITY CITY – The American University of Sharjah’s Sheikh Khalifa Scholarship selection process has been put on hold since March 5 due to the shutting down of the institute because of government orders as a precautionary step to contain the spread of COVID 19.

The university’s administration informed its applicants recently that they will be updated on the situation after three-to-four weeks.

Students were initially told that the winners will be announced by March 12.

Pavithra Ramaprasad, a junior student from the School of Business Administration and an applicant for the award, said that the application process consists of two parts: the application booklet and the interview session.

One student from each of the colleges receives The Sheikh Khalifa Scholarship from AUS every year.

The award is a one hundred percent scholarship that is funded by President of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

According to an article from the AUS website, the funds for the award come from an AED 10 million donation made by the president during his visit to the Sharjah University City in 2005. 

Students must at least have earned 75 credits or more to be eligible for the award.

Ramaparasad said that the application papers are a crucial part of the process.

Students must elaborate on their leadership skills and prove “what makes them stand out,” she said.

The form must include a cover page, an index, three recommendation letters, a resume, a statement of purpose and an account of the applicant’s achievements.

She said that it is important for students to include pictures of their participatory activities along with a detailed description of their achievements.

“It is a rigorous process,” she said as she explained the details of her journey of how she began to apply for the prestigious award.

Ramaprasad said that this is not something you can put together in a week or so.

She added that she spent weeks on perfecting her application which was 25 pages long.

The scholarship is awarded to students who display ideals of open intellectual inquiry, ethical behavior, and social and civic responsibilities.

AUS’s chancellor since 2019, Kevin Mitchell, said in last year’s award ceremony that this scholarship is unique because it recognizes the students’ academic ability as well as their extra-curricular contributions to the university and the community.

Ramaprasad said the applicant’s statement of purpose must be no more than 500 words and must describe who they are as a person and why are they applying for the award.

She said the even though this is an independent application process, students can take help from previous winners of the scholarship for guidelines.

The applicant’s recommendation letters should be sourced from academic and non-academic individuals including professors and other faculty members, she said.