With the support of Qatar Fund for Development, Education Above All Foundation, through Qatar Scholarship Programme, partners with the American University of Beirut to award scholarships to disadvantaged youth in Lebanon
• Qatar Fund For Development signs Memorandum of Understanding with Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education in support of the programme
Doha, 16 June 2021 -- With the support of Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through Qatar Scholarship Programme, has entered into a cooperation agreement with the American University of Beirut (AUB) to develop a joint scholarship programme, which will award scholarships to 400 disadvantaged students over the next four years. In conjunction, Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education - Lebanon (MEHE) in support of the programme.
The Qatar Scholarship Programme will serve marginalised Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian students in pursuit of an undergraduate degree to access quality education, student support services, and civic engagement opportunities. The programme will also enable students to participate in extramural events such as conferences and workshops, and opportunities to work with Qatari educational institutions and organisations. Additionally, 15 of the top students will be selected to study abroad in Qatar at some of the country’s leading universities.
The programme is part of a five-year expansion in which EAA will award 4,000 scholarships throughout the MENA region and abroad, in close partnership with institutions who are models of excellence in their respective countries and regions.
Talal Al-Hothal, Director of EAA’s Al Fakhoora programme, said: “As part of our active stake in the educational rehabilitation in Lebanon, we are proud to enter into this important partnership agreement with the American University of Beirut, with a unique focus on Lebanese youth (70%), in addition to Palestinian and Syrian refugees (30%). EAA aims to provide educational opportunities to marginalised youth, particularly in areas of economic crisis, to transform their lives through inclusive and equitable quality education. By working directly with regional academic partners on the ground, we can achieve sustainable change.”
AUB Interim Provost, Lina Choueiri, PhD, said: “We are excited to partner with EAA for the Qatar Scholarship Programme which will strengthen AUB’s efforts to further extend access to high quality education to disadvantaged youth from across Lebanon, including those from its large refugee population, and this agreement could not come at a more critical time with Lebanon’s economical and financial crises adding a heavy burden on higher education institutions.”
On this occasion, Mr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Aseeri, Manager of Country Programs at QFFD, said: “Through this agreement, we reaffirm the State of Qatar’s concern to support education, securing a decent life, which plays a major role in supporting sustainable human development processes through which the desired development goals of the United Nations are achieved, specifically the fourth goal for sustainable development. We believe that supporting education is one of the basic pillars of human development and the key to its success.”
Currently, there are approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, making it the country with the highest number of refugees per capita – with 1 refugee for every 4 nationals. The refugee problem adds to Lebanon’s economic crisis, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut blast last year. Educational exclusion, particularly among the most disadvantaged Lebanese and non-Lebanese youth, also persists. Only about 7,000 Syrian refugees were students in Lebanon’s universities in the 2017-18 academic year. In effect, only about 6% of college-age Syrians are enrolled in Lebanese universities, when about a quarter of college-age Syrians were studying in Syrian universities before the war.
EAA’s Al Fakhoora programme currently works in 7 countries and has, to date, awarded over 7,000 post-secondary, undergraduate and graduate scholarship packages to marginalised youth. Al Fakhoora’s comprehensive, multifaceted programmes, which integrate access to quality education, student support services, and civic engagement, nurture and support beneficiaries from selection to graduation. By providing holistic support to our beneficiaries throughout their academic journey, Al Fakhoora enables and empowers youth to become engaged, productive citizens.