Khalifa University student Fahad Al Shaibani has become the first Emirati engineering student to secure a Rhodes scholarship after submitting a successful application to the prestigious award which gives a small cohort of gifted and talented international students the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
The scholarship will support Fahad for two years while he studies a graduate degree at the university which is widely recognized as one of the best universities in the world. It will pay his tuition for two years offer him a small stipend and pay for flights to and from the UAE.
To be awarded Rhodes scholarship applicants must successfully complete an intensive compatibility process which includes an interview with several world-leading professors and experts. Only 0.7% of applicants are successful. Successful Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on four selection criteria: intellect character leadership and commitment to service. They are generally considered by the Rhodes Trust to be potential future leaders.
Fahad said: “Khalifa University is only eight years old but already it offers a world-class education and is competing globally. I’m proud to be both an ambassador for Khalifa University and for the UAE.”
In addition to the Rhodes scholarship Fahad has also had a shiny Khalifa University career. His major is in biomedical engineering but he has also explored other fields through competitions. He was a finalist in the Drones for Good competition last year and also ranked highly a recent mobile application contest.
The personal statement that Fahad included in his Rhodes scholarship application centered on the notion of a knowledge-based sustainable economy which is one of the aspirations of the UAE leadership. Upon returning to the UAE Fahad plans to use the knowledge he has gained from the University of Oxford to benefit the future development of the country.
“I’m a strong believer that if you make the place the place will make you ” said Fahad. “It is about what you do with what you have been given. I’ve been given a world-class education – now it’s my turn to give back.”
Dr. Mohammed Al Mualla Senior Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies of Khalifa University said: “We are proud of Fahad’s achievement in being honored with a Rhodes scholarship. Fahad is one of many gifted students that study at Khalifa University and his success is yet another testament to both the UAE leadership’s commitment to providing cutting-edge education facilities and infrastructure and Khalifa University’s ability to educate students to an international standard. We wish Fahad the very best of luck in his future endeavors.”
Fahad was one of two Rhodes Scholars selected from the UAE this year the other being Farah Shamout of New York University Abu Dhabi.
Christoph Avenarius National Secretary for the UAE Rhodes Scholarship said: “The two selected UAE Rhodes Scholars will build on strong scientific backgrounds when they arrive in Oxford. Both students are committed to playing a leading role in the transition of the UAE towards a knowledge based society later in their lives. But first the Rhodes Trust is looking forward to welcoming both Scholars in September 2016 at Oxford University.”
Khalifa University recently became the youngest university to rank in the top 100 universities under 50 in addition to achieving ABET accreditation for six key programs this year.
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