Scholarships for higher Studies in UAE
Updated on Dec 19, 2017 - 10:55 a.m. IST by Shivani Bhatt

In past 30 years, after discovery of oil, Dubai has become an epitome of wealth and culture. This has prompted the flourish in education sector as well. As the region began diversifying and strengthening its economy on one hand, it also started welcoming foreign students on the other. Today, students are interested to study in UAE as the country has some of the top educational institutes of the world.

For students aspiring study in UAE, Dubai offers two types of students scholarships one is Government Scholarship and the other is College Scholarships.


Scholarships for higher Studies in UAE

UAE has an academic free zone catering to the academic institutes from around the world. The Dubai International Academic City houses some of the top universities of UAE. A number of scholarships are offered to students to help their study in UAE. The Government Scholarships are:

  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships

  • The David L. Boren Scholarships

  1. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships: This is one of the prestigious grant that a student can achieve. To receive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships, a student must be a ‘Pell Grant’ recipient, and should evidently accomplished himself/herself academically. As this is a very competitive grant, the scholarship provided is also high, only students with exceptionally good academic background are qualified to bag the grant and receive the scholarships.

  2. The David L. Boren Scholarships: The other scholarship that government provides is The David L. Boren Scholarships. This scholarships are provided to individuals who are pursuing or have intimate knowledge of security-sensitive languages, such as Arabic, along with foreign cultures including Islamic studies. As this is provided by the government, this scholarships are ultra-competitive and highly advertised. This scholarship is for both graduates and undergraduates, thus the best of the students with extremely high academic performance bags this scholarships. The recipients are required to work in the Department of Defense or Homeland Security following their graduation. Moreover, the Preference is given to students who aspires or are considering their long-term careers in the federal government. Up to $26,000 are awarded for scholarships.

Scholarships for higher Studies in UAE

The admission process for the courses start approximately 3–4 months before the commencement of the course. The admission cycle to study in UAE for the spring semester begins by October the previous year. The applicants are advised to apply for scholarships along with their application. The various college scholarships are:

  • The Marie Wright Scholarship: This is a scholarship awarded for applying for courses in a Non-Traditional Locations. This is the scholarship designed for the western students to fly and study in Non-Traditional locations. Students are provided this scholarship based on their academic performance and merit.

  • The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowships: This scholarship for study in UAE offers graduate students an opportunity to pursue their higher studies with an intention of pursuing a long-term career with the federal government. This scholarship is awarded to students with weak financial background, minorities, and academically exceptionally talented students. Universities like Howard harbor this scholarship program. Up to $28,000 is awarded as the fellowships grant which combines travel and tuition expenses.

  • The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Scholarships: The American University in Dubai, UAE provides the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Scholarships to the western students enrolling in any discipline in the university. The scholarship is provided to students on the basis of merit after their good past academic performance.

  • Abu Dhabi University Financial Aid Scholarship Program: This scholarship is specified for student with limited financial support. These financially weak students performing academically well can achieve 50% discount on their tuition fees. The student should however enrol for a bachelor's program in ADU, with exceptional marks of above 70% in their previous academic performance.

  • Merit scholarship at Heriot-Watt University (HW), Dubai:  The Merit scholarship at Heriot-Watt University (HW), is provided to students pursuing undergraduate degree and Ph.D. The merit students eligible to be admitted into the Advanced DEP programme can join the DEP programme. This scholarships for higher Studies in UAE offered will be calculated on the net tuition fee of the first year after deducting any other scholarships/discounts that the student may have received. The guaranteed scholarship will be spread equally over the duration of the degree. Additional benefit is provided to students achieving the above grades in DEP, they can upgrade their scholarship to 30–50% of the annual fee for their chosen UG degree.

  • Postgraduate academic excellence scholarship at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD): For international students, University of Wollongong Dubai offers postgraduate academic excellence scholarship to study in UAE. The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the UAE’s oldest university. As the scholarship covers 15%–25% of the tuition fees, this it is required that the applicants for a postgraduate degree must complete their bachelor degree (or equivalent) at an accredited institution of higher education and have achieved the minimum grades, as well as any specific course-related requirements. The language of instruction at UOWD is English, making it mandatory for the applicants to demonstrate an adequate level of English language proficiency for enrollment in the University.

  • The H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to only 20 eligible students and are interested in pursue further university studies at Hamdan Bin Mohammed smart University, Dubai. These students are selected based on their high school grades and meeting the entry requirements of HBMSU programs. The Scholarships are applicable for students pursuing UG and PG programme. Applicants should achieve a minimum grade point average of 90% to receive waive off of 20% of the tuition fee of the program for the first semester they are enrolled in (transferred learners are excluded from this discount). For 15% waive off of the tuition fee of the program a continuing full-time undergraduate learner should attain a minimum GPA of 3.60 out of 4.00 in a given semester.

  • An academic excellence scholarship: An academic excellence scholarships for higher Studies in UAE is offered by The Murdoch University. The public university, based in Perth with campuses in Singapore and Dubai Murdoch University is allowing scholarships to students for pursuing an undergraduate and postgraduate degree. A Waive off of 25% on total course tuition fee is awarded. Applicants successfully completing high school diploma with overall GPA 3.5 and SAT 1650, Indian & Pakistani students completing their high school studies with minimum grade of “75%” are eligible for the scholarship.

  • IRENA Scholarship Programme: Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi offers International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) offers a high-level lecture programme for its Scholars interested to study in UAE. This is a scholarship provided to promote talented academics, and with the generous support of the Government of the United Arab Emirates. Students pursuing Postgraduate (Masters) in Sciences, Engineering with minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, TOEFL score of 91 (IBT) on the international TOEFL or minimum academic IELTS score: 6.5 is qualified for this scholarship. Moreover, the Academic record and credential of the applicant  must evidently indicate the ability to achieve distinction. IRENA allows full financial support to  MSc scholars. The scholarship covers the tuition fees, textbooks, laptop, medical insurance, housing, travel expenses.

UAE offers work options after the completion of the course. Some university students have the option of working during the course. To be able to work after study in UAE candidates must change from sponsored student visa to employer sponsored visa.


There are numerous scholarships offered by the universities in UAE. The above are a only a few of them. Apart from these, the universities and the campuses of international universities offer scholarships.


Download Quick guide to study in UAE


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