Announced earlier last month on the occasion of the commencement ceremony that marked the graduation of the Silver Jubilee Class of Ajman University of Science & Technology (AUST), the ‘Thamer Salman Scholarship Fund' was officially launched yesterday at a press conference held at AUST's Ajman Campus, Cinema Hall.
The release of Thamer Salman Scholarship Fund aims at assisting students, regardless of their gender or national origin, to finance their education at Ajman University of Science and Technology. The main purpose of Thamer Fund is to provide financial aid to AUST students who are financially disadvantaged and therefore are unable to pay their educational fees. The late Mr. Thamer Salman, may Allah bless his soul, came up with the idea of ‘Takaful' years ago to help AUST students in need and promote the spirit of social solidarity.
The Thamer Fund is meant to alleviate financial difficulties facing students that might prevent them from pursing their education. Moreover, easing the pressure on some AUST students will motivate them to work harder in order to achieve excellence throughout their academic life at the University.
During the press conference, the Fund's working mechanism, organizational structure, as well as funding sources and procedures were presented. The briefing was attended by Mr. Osama Salman, AUST Vice-President, Eng. Mohammed Salman, Director of Information Technology Department, Mr. Abdullah Saeed Salman, Secretary General, Thamer Salman Scholarship Fund, Dr. Abdul Haq Al Nuaimi, Director, Community Service Department, along with a number of college deans, department heads, senior officials and local media representatives.
“Supporting students is a tradition deeply rooted in and ardently followed by Ajman University throughout its 25 years of existence. Since its inception, various decrees and regulations have been issued to aid academically outstanding as well as financially disadvantaged students to assist them in pursuing their further education,” said AUST Vice-President. AUST, he added, recently approved a substantial increase in scholarships and discounts offered to its students. Ajman University is a leading sponsor of students; as such the partial and full scholarships will be increased starting Spring 2013-2014. Last year alone, some 4300 students have benefited from the old scholarship system with a total of AED 13 million. AUST spent a staggering amount of AED 70 million during the past 5 years on scholarships, waivers and discounts for top achievers and students in need.
Abdullah Saeed Salman, Secretary General of the Scholarship Fund pointed out that: “the idea behind establishing this scholarship fund is a derivative inspiration of Late Thamer Salman, May ALLAH's mercy be upon him, tackling numerous cases of students whose circumstances prevented them from continuing their higher education. Although huge amounts of money were spent to subsidize deserving students through University funds or individual initiatives by external sponsors, the growing number of such cases required a proper system to ensure smooth funding so that all AUST underprivileged students could benefit from financial aid; hence, the idea of ‘Thamer Salman Scholarship Fund' came into being.”
Abdullah Salman also revealed that Mrs. Aisha Ahmed Bashir, Mother of late Thamer Salman, may ALLAH have mercy on him, was keen to be the the first to support this initiative by her generous contribution to this Scholarship Fund.
Mr. Muhannad Zahi, AUST Financial Controller, explained that contributions to the Thamer Fund can be made by direct payment, bank transfer to the Fund's account number (AE390570000017482222023), online payment using credit card at the webpage: thamerfund.ajman.ac.ae, or by issuing checks in favor of “Thamer Salman Scholarship Fund”.
He underscored that the Fund will be subject to internal and external audits and would be 100% used for the grants and scholarships offered to students without any sort of deduction as salaries or any other payments for the team managing the Fund.
Dr. Shehabi Al Sharqawi, Dean of the College of Law, explained the eligibility criteria for application to the Fund as follows: (a) the applicant should be a regular student of AUST who is worthy of support, (b) should have completed at least one semester of study, (c) should have a minimum CGPA of 2.00; a beneficiary student whose CGPA is less than the minimum required (for continued financial support) will be given a one-semester chance to increase their CGPA, (d) must not have been subject to a disciplinary penalty by the University Student Discipline Committee, other than verbal or written warning, (e) should not be benefiting from an external sponsorship or grant, and (f) should not be benefiting from any of the University's approved grants or rebates.
On the technical aspect, Dr. Abdul Haq Al Nuaimi commented that the Fund Council has been formed to look into the cases of the students that meet the said conditions. He noted that the most important step the students need to follow in order to benefit from this Scholarship Fund is to apply for financial aid through the webpage dedicated to this purpose.
Eng. Mohammed Salman stated that the webpage ‘thamerfund.ajman.ac.ae' will facilitate the application process and simultaneously allow the applying students to track the progress of their applications. It will also assist those individuals and organizations wishing to support this Fund through their vital contributions. All details are available online for students and the public.