Two New York University Abu Dhabi students have been awarded the coveted Rhodes Scholarship to pursue masters degrees at Oxford University.
Abdulla Alhashmi, an Emirati studying economics and philosophy, and Munib Mesinovic, a major in electrical engineering, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, were selected from applicants from around the world.
Rhodes Scholarship allows exceptional students to pursue postgraduate studies at University of Oxford, one of the UK’s top universities. Over the past seven years, NYUAD has produced 14 Rhodes scholars.
Mr Alhashmi, 21, is currently interning at the UAE Education and Human Resources Council, where he is researching ways to improve the path from education to employment in the Emirates.
“I applied for the Rhodes Scholarship because I want to continue my journey of knowledge acquisition, self-discovery, and service,” said Mr Alhashmi. “As a Rhodes Scholar, I will expand my economic tool kit at one of the finest academic institutions in the world while surrounded by a motivated group of individuals that are excited to learn, to think seriously about their ethical commitments and responsibilities, and to make a positive change in our world.”
Mr Alhashmi plans to study the role of education in a country’s journey towards becoming a knowledge-based economy.
Munib Mesinovic, 22, said he plans to study how innovative technologies can be applied, ethically and responsibly, to help people with disabilities and health challenges.
“We can transcend the social model of disabilities by using technology, but those technologies need to be developed considering disabilities.
“Artificial Intelligence could not just be revolutionary in disability studies, but also in healthcare. Our body creates tremendous amounts of data every second that mostly go to waste, and employing that resource for our own benefit is at the core of my career ambitions," he said.
Mr Mesinovic was involved in advocacy and worked with people with disabilities while at NYUAD. He led a project to teach children with disabilities 3-D geometry using virtual reality headsets, and has facilitated computer workshops for the people with special needs.
Established in 1902 by the will of the late British businessman Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world's oldest awards for international fellowship and academic study. Applicants are selected through an intensive process including a written application and in-person interviews.