USAID scholar from cohort one Samar Hany with ASU president and officials (photo credit of AUC media office)
The American University in Cairo (AUC) announced on 28 June that it offers scholarships to the second cohort of Egyptian public school students through the USAID Scholars Activity. The programme, implemented and managed by the AUC, will provide scholarships to approximately 140 students in the academic year 2021–2022 to study at the AUC and several partner Egyptian public and private universities.
USAID Scholars at Assiut University
The AUC's partner universities in the programme are Cairo University; Alexandria University; Ain Shams University; Assiut University; Mansoura University; and Zewail City of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Scholarships awarded by the USAID Scholars Activity programme are made possible through the generous support of the American people through the US Agency for International Development.
The USAID Scholars Activity programme accepts applications from qualified students from all 27 governorates of Egypt. The selection process commits to gender balance and the inclusion of at least 10%-15% students with disabilities.
The AUC offers twenty scholarships to study business, economics, and journalism, and five scholarships to study sciences and computer sciences through this programme.
Mohamed Hamdy- USAID Scholar (photo credit of AUC media office)
USAID scholar Mohamed Hamdy, a visually impaired student, accepted in cohort one in the programme, is currently taking several courses in preparation for his studies at the AUC. “I have been dreaming of this opportunity for so long. I have benefited so much from this programme and managed to make many friends. As one of the visually impaired people, I feel equal to all my friends now, as I have received several training courses through this programme. It is an excellent opportunity and especially for students with disabilities, as there is room for us.”
Chief of party of USAID Scholars at the AUC Amal Mowafy said “the USAID Scholars Activity Programme, which was launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, was still successfully able to recruit and register the first cohort in all partner universities.”
She pointed that the programme has also been delivering a number of non-academic skills enhancement activities to the scholars while ensuring student well-being under the new normal. “This programme strongly builds partnerships with the government of Egypt, the private sector, and civil society to ensure broad outreach and sustainability of the activity in the future,” Mowafy added.
Samar Hany, another USAID scholar from cohort one, who now studies nanotechnology in the Faculty of Sciences at Ain Shams University, says “I have benefited so much from the English courses at AUC. Also, the [various] training [courses] has helped me manage my time and cope during COVID-19, and I have managed to win Cairo’s under 20 years Kung Fu championship while studying.”
In particular, the programme aims to support the economic, social, and environmental development plans in Egypt by focusing on university studies in the fields of water, energy, agriculture, computer, artificial intelligence, and data sciences by providing university education opportunities based on the foundations of knowledge, innovation, and scientific research and characterised by excellence, experimental education, entrepreneurship, and preparation for the job market.
It is noteworthy that besides the rigorous higher education, students have access to English language training, entrepreneurship training, career counseling, a semester/summer abroad in the US, job placement services, and holistic character development to harvest future scholars as change agents and transformative leaders in Egypt.