Sunday 13, August 2017 by Jessica Combes

DIFC and Harvard to offer opportunities to underprivileged MEASA students


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) and the Harvard Business School Club of the GCC collaborated to offer a five-day intensive course for 50 underprivileged students.

span style="font-size: small;">The initiative was established under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC. 

With a curriculum developed by SAI and Harvard Business School professors Khanna, Lakhani and Fabbe, the Programme commenced this week in The Academy at DIFC, the newly launched state-of-art executive education centre in the region’s leading financial hub. It will be delivered by three professors from Harvard Business School, including SAI’s Director, Professor Tarun Khanna. Alya Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President of Operations, DIFC Authority, led one of the business leadership sessions, introducing students to Dubai’s financial industries.

“Over the course of the five-day Programme, participating students will have the chance to study under the tutelage of professors from one of the world’s most prestigious universities, taking in unique insights which they will bring to bear in their diverse continuing studies and future careers,” said Alya Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President of Operations, DIFC Authority. “In keeping with the UAE government agenda, DIFC is committed to developing the pool of talented and passionate professionals which our economy needs for long-term growth. Opportunities like the Harvard Crossroads Summer programme open up new pathways for young people and support robust higher education, both of central importance for achieving our goal of human capital development.”

Offering educational opportunities and supporting the development of the UAE’s human capital is one pillar of this year’s DIFC agenda, in line with the 2017 Year of Giving declared by the UAE President, HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Programme supports the academic growth of the participating students, each of whom is the first in their family to attend university.

“This is a region with bold economic ambitions and the determination to achieve them. Harvard has a longstanding involvement in helping young people here to accelerate their careers and rise to the challenges and opportunities that such a dynamic region makes available to them,” said Professor Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School.