GEMS Education and University Partners Successfully Host inaugural UniConnect EdEx 2018

More than 600 students and parents attended the inaugural GEMS Education UniConnect EdEx event

  • Event designed to offer essential information and advice on universities, higher education and career options
  • Four outstanding students awarded GEMS scholarships during event
  • Exhibitors included representatives from 34 post-secondary institutions and 30 GEMS counsellors, with more than 600 students and parents in attendance

Dubai, UAE: More than 600 students and parents attended the inaugural GEMS Education UniConnect EdEx event held on 2 June at GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail. The event provided both GEMS Education and non-GEMS Education students and their families the opportunity to meet with representatives from 34 world-class post-secondary institutions that are part of UniConnect. GEMS Education launched the UniConnect programme in 2017 with the goal of providing scholarships and financial aid to GEMS Education students seeking admission at universities within the region and across the globe.

Christophe Savard, Vice President – Career and Future Employment Architect at GEMS Education, commented: “The success of UniConnect EdEx 2018 is reflected in the tremendous attendance and interest we’ve seen from students across not just the GEMS network, but also further afield. Our goal is to support young adults through their entire education journey, helping them in their transition from secondary to tertiary education and beyond, providing them with scholarships, greater accessibility and increased opportunity, and ensuring they are best placed to fulfil their potential and succeed in every aspect of their lives. We are grateful to all our partners for their input and participation, and as the UniConnect programme continues to grow and gather momentum, we look forward to hosting similar events on a larger scale in the future.”

Also present were 30 GEMS Education college and career counsellors, who were on hand to provide guidance and assistance on all matters relating to higher education and future employment. In addition, the event programme included 12 half-hour breakout presentations, panel discussions and workshops covering key topics relating to post-secondary education. These were led by GEMS Education moderators with input from expert speakers from the UniConnect universities and institutions involved in the event.

Each session included a Q&A element, allowing panellists and presenters to address students and parents’ questions and concerns. Topics covered practical considerations such as which universities to apply to and when to begin the university planning process; more academic deliberations including which curricula to choose and which subjects to study; as well as broader areas like summer enrichment programmes and future employment opportunities.

In addition, as part of the GEMS Scholarships programme that recognises outstanding achievement and promise in both existing and new GEMS Education students, a special ceremony was held during the event to award scholarships to four remarkable students. Sisters and exceptionally talented triathletes Juliette Janne d’Othee and Thea Janne d’Othee, in Grades 9 and 7 respectively, were both awarded sports scholarships to GEMS World Academy covering 30% of tuition fees. Arnav Kedia, in Grade 7, was awarded a 20% scholarship to the same school in recognition of his academic excellence, while Sadhna Venkatesh, who has won multiple awards and appeared in a number of films, was awarded a 50% performance arts scholarship to GEMS Our Own Indian School.

The scholarships were awarded by Brendan Law, Vice President – British Cluster Lead at GEMS Education, who said: “GEMS Education has always offered merit-based scholarships to students. For the 2018/19 academic year, GEMS launched the largest scholarship opportunity in the UAE, intended to encourage and reward excellence. Students are recognised for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. I am thrilled to be awarding the first of many more scholarships to come to these outstanding students from our GEMS schools.”

UniConnect partners involved in EdEx 2018 included:

  • American College of Dubai
  • American University of Dubai
  • American University of Sharjah
  • Amity University
  • British Council
  • Bucksmore Education
  • Curtin University
  • City University College of Ajman
  • Canadian University, Dubai
  • CERCA London
  • College of Fashion and Design
  • Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management
  • Gilion Institute of Higher Education
  • Gulf Medical University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Indian School of Hospitality
  • Institute of Management Technology, Dubai
  • International University Alliance
  • Middlesex University, Dubai
  • MODUL University
  • Price Waterhouse Academy
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • SAE Institute
  • Score Plus / Princeton Review
  • Skyline University College
  • St. George’s University
  • Synergy University
  • UK College of Business and Computing
  • University of Balamand, Dubai
  • University of Birmingham, Dubai
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Modern Sciences
  • University of Wollongong in Dubai
  • Vision Concepts Aviation Training Institute

Marina Rizzi, Director of International Office & Industry Engagement at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, said: “The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, as a proud partner of GEMS UniConnect, found the EdEx event to be a wonderful occasion to connect with the GEMS family community. The workshops provided a perfect complement to the event in helping guide students and their families in their study programme options. The diversity of universities present helped address a variety of interesting career paths and opportunities for students. We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet inspired youth specifically interested in pursuing a career in hospitality in an international setting, and sharing our passion for this business. We look forward to participating in future GEMS EdEx events where the education and development of promising young minds takes the forefront.”

Imran Oomer, Managing Director at International University Alliance, said: “We are proud partners of the GEMS UniConnect programme and excited to participate in the kick-off EdEx event in Dubai. At the International University Alliance, we represent the interests of many of the top universities in the US and we are excited about the global connectivity to GEMS graduates through our collaboration and identifying future scholars that are seeking to earn their degree from a leading American university.”

Amanda Abraham, Schools and Universities Relationship Manager at PwC’s Academy, said: “The GEMS EdEx 2018 event was a great opportunity to meet with other UniConnect partners and discuss plans for collaboration. It was a good forum to meet parents, students and counsellors, and have meaningful conversations on career guidance and pathways. PwC’s Academy, as a UniConnect partner, is keen to release our exclusive GEMS scholarships for our courses starting July 2018.”

For more information on UniConnect, visit