NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced the selection of the 2011-12 class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars, composed of 20 high-achieving students who are currently in their third and fourth years of their bachelor's degree study in UAE higher education institutions. The students, who are enrolled in the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Zayed University (ZU), and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), will embark on a rigorous enrichment program designed to further their academic and personal growth.
The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program was established in 2008 by NYUAD in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) in order to allow selected students enrolled in National institutions to experience a unique, multicultural learning opportunity that will help them develop their critical thinking and leadership skills while gaining international exposure.
The program's academic component provides them with the opportunity to take a course taught by NYU President John Sexton which examines the relationship between religion and government, or a two-part class covering the topics of US presidential politics and foreign policy which is taught by political strategist Robert Shrum, and accomplished journalist James Traub.
In addition to spending time in the classroom, scholars will participate in special English language training, enrichment programs, and a leadership development course. They will travel to the United States to visit the Supreme Court, see major cultural attractions, meet distinguished leaders, and interact with students and faculty at NYU's New York campus.
The 20 students were nominated by their institutions and were chosen from a pool of sixty applicants by a panel of judges after an intensive application and interview process.
This program is one of two significant community outreach programs operated by NYU Abu Dhabi. The other is the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholarships for Outstanding High School Students; winners of the scholarships are Abu Dhabi high school students entering their 11th year. The students, who hope to attend top tier English language universities, attend the NYUAD Summer Academy, where they take courses in English, mathematics, leadership, and standardized test preparation over an 18 month time period. The first group of 24 Summer Academy students just completed the inaugural summer session, consisting of three weeks in Abu Dhabi and two weeks at NYU's site in Florence, Italy.
Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, co-chair of the program's steering committee, said: "As this program continues to mature and develop, there is increasing interest in this challenging opportunity amongst the country's very best students. I am pleased to welcome another year of highly capable scholars into the family of previous and current students."
Diane C. Yu, executive director of the scholars program and the chief of staff and deputy to President Sexton, said: "The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program represents an important collaborative model for how higher education institutions in Abu Dhabi can support each other as we seek to provide the best opportunity for our students. Students selected for this program are not only accomplished academically, but they are also motivated, energetic, forward-thinking, and passionate, and we look forward to engaging with them in the year to come."
The 2011-12 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars are: