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Making a global impact through focused digital immersion partnerships

With an overarching mission of improving access to educational opportunity to students, ASU has consistently driven toward forming partnerships and collaborations that help to increase the ability to meet the needs of students who would not traditionally have the opportunity to pursue higher level degrees. Through an innovative program — the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) is offering scholarships to pursue an online master’s degree in one of 29 different fields including engineering, technology, health, education, tourism and more through a program called Open Learning Scholars (OLS).

Digital immersion learning has lagged behind in adoption and popularity in international markets. Our partnership with AGFE has enabled Arizona State University to make the case for online learning and the opportunity it provides to students everywhere. We have begun conversations to positively impact thought leadership and mindset in regard to digital immersion opportunity in the Arab world. 

Currently there are 25 students enrolled with the AGFE OLS program from a variety of Arab countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Most of these students are pursuing engineering majors, though others are focused on healthcare degrees. OLS applications are open year round and reviewed three times a year. Then they must apply for the program and meet ASU requirements to gain entry to the degree program. It is a laborious process, but the students who have persisted are successful in their classes, and they are having a major impact in their communities. Lisa Manning, who works closely with scholars, indicates that the best thing about watching these students succeed is “the fact that they are proving the efficacy of online learning in their individual markets and changing thought leadership with their individual and corporate successes. Each and every one of these students is a game-changer.”

For more information about the OLS program: http://alghurairfoundation.org/en/content/open-learning-scholars

For more information about online learning and Arab student populations: http://www.alghurairfoundation.org/en/content/how-prepared-are-arab-youth-college-and-their-careers