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​Launch of Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates Announced

The Rhodes Trust today announces the launch of the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates. Following a two year trial programme, during which time they were known as the Falcon Scholarships, the UAE Scholarship now has full Rhodes status. All Falcon Scholars, past and present, will now be known as Rhodes Scholars. The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as “leaders for the world's future”. One to two Rhodes Scholars from the UAE will be selected annually, and the total value of the award will be more than £50,000 per annum. The Trust is seeking funds to permanently endow the Scholarship for UAE.

The Warden of Rhodes House, Mr Charles Conn, commented: “We have been delighted with the Falcon Scholars who have joined the Rhodes community to date, and it is a very positive step that the Scholarships can now be known as the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates. This further marks our commitment to the expansion of the Scholarships, and the goal of facilitating truly international conversations and collaborations here in Oxford and beyond.

Arfa Rehman

Two Rhodes Scholars will start at Oxford this year. The first, Arfa Rehman, was announced earlier in the year. The second is confirmed today, Hamel Al Qubaisi. Arfa will read for the MSc in Sociology at St Antony’s College, and hopes to pursue the MBA in her second year at Oxford. She is originally from Aligarh, India and grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Arfa is currently completing a double major in Social Research and Public Policy, and Visual Arts at NYU Abu Dhabi. She has a strong focus on the way design can be used to mobilise social change. She co-founded the student-run Design Collective and is on the executive board of the Women’s Leadership Network, and has volunteered at the Somali Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Hamel Al Qubaisi

Hamel will complete his BA in Political Science from NYU Abu Dhabi next month and will read for the MPhil in International Relations at Oxford. During his time at NYU, Hamel won the Dean’s Colloquium Grant for a 2-week social entrepreneurship project in Thailand, and this year has served as the first Emirati President of the University’s Student Government. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, poetry, ping pong, and trap shooting.

Secretary to the 2015 Selection Committee, Dr Christoph Avenarius commented: “By introducing the Falcon Scholarship to the UAE in 2014, the Rhodes Trust added a new constituency in recognition of UAE’s very strong and cosmopolitan student body. It signals trust in the UAE’s growing global significance and in the capability of Oxford trained leaders to make a positive impact on society later in their professional life that these are now to be fully titled as the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates.

Selection Committee member, His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh CVO CBE (Cultural Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs) commented: "The launching of a full Rhodes scholarship for UAE students to Oxford University in acknowledgment of the success of its Falcon Scholars program is the consecration of the country’s major achievements in creating an international centre of higher education serving a cosmopolitan community as a central plank of its durable development strategy. I am delighted that our students will be able to contribute to this growing fraternity of talented leaders who can play an active role in building a better future for their societies."

Arfa Rehman

Arfa Rehman commented: I am delighted and honoured to be named one of this year's Falcon Scholars, and I think the launch of the Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates is a great initiative. I had a very memorable experience meeting the exceptional finalists and panellists during the selection process and am extremely grateful to the selection committee for giving me this incredible opportunity. I am looking forward to studying Sociology and joining the Rhodes community at Oxford.”

Hamel Al Qubaisi

Hamel Al Qubaisi writes: “I am excited to continue my graduate studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Being part of such a diverse and decorated community of scholars from all over the world is a huge responsibility for me and I hope to learn from them as much as from my courses.”