January 21, 2021
Lessons Learned: A Programmatic Reflection on the Al Qasimi Foundation College Preparation Program
Since its inception, the mission of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research has been to support the capacity development of educational systems in Ras Al Khaimah and the broader United Arab Emirates (UAE). Leaders at the Foundation, and its collaborators, have accomplished this through the production of relevant research and directly engaging with policymakers, educators, and students. The Foundation began working with students in 2013 after inheriting the Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship Program. It provided supplemental scholarships to Ras Al Khaimah Emirati students studying overseas and had been running for several years when it transitioned. As part of its new scholarship management responsibilities, the Foundation was tasked with increasing the number of students enrolled at well-regarded overseas universities.
At the time, subpar English language skills were one critical barrier preventing Ras Al Khaimah students from achieving direct higher education admission to domestic and overseas universities. Upon admission, most students were required to take one or two foundation years of remedial coursework before they could begin their undergraduate degrees. The Foundation therefore began piloting supplemental English language classes as a first step toward developing a talent pipeline of admissible students. Over time, this evolved into a comprehensive College Preparation Student Enrichment Program (CPP) similar to college readiness programs in other countries that focus on preparing first generation university students.
Recommended citation: Mullan, C., & Smith, T. (2023). Lessons Learned: A Programmatic Reflection on the Al Qasimi Foundation College Preparation Program (Policy Paper No.63). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.