Prof. Mohamed Diaa Zain El-Abedeen, President of Ain Shams University, and Dr. Quincy Dermody, Director of the Higher Education Initiative Scholarship Program at AMIDEAST, and Dr. Aphenia Siderias, Deputy Head of the US Diplomatic Mission, witnessed the graduation ceremony for the fifth batch of scholarship recipients through the Higher Education Initiative Scholarship Program at public universities signed between the United States of America and the Arab Republic of Egypt, which is funded by the US Agency for international development, it is supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and implemented by AMIDEAST.
Prof. Mohamed Diaa began his speech by thanking the gentlemen in charge of the initiative, which encourages constructive dialogue between the West and the Middle East and enhances understanding and cooperation through educational, information, and development programs.
His Eminence also extended his sincere congratulations to the parents who came to celebrate their children and to see the fruit of their labor and efforts throughout the pre-university education stage until they reached this defining stage in their future.
His Excellency also expressed his pride in the parity between the sexes in this batch, which includes (53) male and (39) female students, including (5) students with disabilities (4) female students and (1) male, in various specializations including (Engineering - Business- Sciences - Computers and Information Sciences - Agriculture), which is what distinguishes this program, which succeeded in including distinct and different groups from segments of Egyptian society to achieve equality between the various sects.
His Excellency also appreciated the effort made by the United States Agency for International Development to support the higher education and scientific research sector to achieve its aspirations and hopes in a world in which the pace of development and competition is increasing day by day and which increasingly requires the possession of knowledge to build a human being who keeps pace with the values of the times.
He added that the public university scholarship program provided by the United States Agency for International Development is concerned with the development of students enrolled in it not only on the academic side, but many non-academic programs contribute to building the student’s personality so that he becomes future leaders capable of making an effective contribution to society.
His Excellency stressed that the public university scholarship program comes as a living example of one of the agreements concluded with the United States Agency for International Development in partnership with some Egyptian public universities, including the prestigious Ain Shams University, in addition to providing a full academic scholarship through which students receive academic and professional advice and training in the English language. The option to participate in semester programs in the United States of America and the program also works actively with the private sector to link graduates with jobs.
He concluded his speech by urging the students and encouraging them to seize the valuable opportunity afforded to them by joining government university scholarship programs to achieve the maximum possible benefit from all the academic and non-academic programs and activities they obtained over the years of university study, in the presence of Prof. Ghada Farouk, Vice President of the University for Community Service and Environmental Development Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Hamed, Head of Learning and Development at Banque Misr, Prof. Mohamed Al-Banna, Deputy Director of International Programs and Student Advisor at the Faculty of Engineering, at Ain Shams University, Mrs. Nevin Gad Al-Mawla, Assistant Regional Director of Programs at BAMDEST/Egypt, Prof. Hala Sweid, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for Community Service and Environmental Development Affairs, Prof. Ghada Bassiouni, Professor at the Faculty of Engineering, at Ain Shams University, and Mrs. Reham Al-Atefi, Director General of the Education and Student Affairs Department.
The ceremony included 92 students this year out of a total of (558) students since the start of the scholarship in 2015, including (193) students at Ain Shams University.
The students obtained bachelor's degrees in special programs at five public universities: Ain Shams University, Cairo University, Alexandria University, Assiut University, and Mansoura University. The scholarship promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities and females, as 6% of students graduating this year have a disability.
It is worth noting that all graduate students participated in community service projects throughout Egypt, and some of them developed their community service initiatives. In addition, students improved their English through classes with AMIDEAST, independent study, and attended training courses to develop their skills in the workplace and improve their ability to obtain jobs. They also communicated with actual employers to receive guidance in matters of the labor market and study, conducted training job interviews, and participated in training in various companies. In addition, 278 graduates studied abroad for one semester in the United States.
A total of 673 male and female students from all 27 governorates have received university scholarships in the American-Egyptian Higher Education Initiative since 2015, and 78% of graduates were employed within 12 months of their graduation.