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FAQs about Dubai Distinguished Students Programme

  1. What is the Dubai Distinguished Students Programme?
    The programme aims to support Emirati students in all stages of their education, focusing on students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, and a strong commitment to continuing their educational journey. The scholarship covers 50% of their tuition fees in schools rated Good or Better.
  2. Who is eligible for this programme?
    This programme is open to academically distinguished UAE nationals who hold a family book issued by the emirate of Dubai.
  3. Where can we get information about the registration date for the next cycle, and is there a specific date?
    Registration in the programme for the academic year 24/25 will be open from May 20 to June 14, 2024. More information about the programme can be found on the programme’s page on the KHDA website.
  4. What are the academic stages covered by this programme?
    The programme covers school grades from Grade 1/Year 2 (or its equivalent in other applied curriculums) until graduation from the school. This programme does not cover university or vocational education.
  5. Can siblings register in the programme?
  6. Can I register my children in the programme in the same school or school group where they are currently studying, if it is one of the schools participating in the programme?
  7. What are the requirements of the programme and the admission criteria?
    All information about admissions, enrolment and terms for the programme can be found on the programme’s page on the KHDA website.
  8. Are the results of CAT4 one of the admission criteria?
  9. Will my application be prioritised if I apply first?
    No. The most important thing is to submit a complete application to ensure your application is not excluded.
  10. Will I be contacted if there are missing documents in my application?
    No. Parents/guardians must ensure that all requirements are met, and verified documents are attached before submitting the application, as the e-system will automatically exclude all incomplete applications once registration closes.
  11. I am facing some technical issues to complete my application. What should I do?
    Kindly contact  
  12. Why wasn’t my child accepted?
    Due to the high volume of applications and the limited number of available seats, the most suitable candidates will be selected based on their performance in the required assessments and their personal interviews.
  13. If the student is accepted in the programme, is the current school required to return the re-registration deposits paid for the next academic year?
    This is not within the scope of the programme and is subject to the tuition refund policies of other education authorities in the country and the Ministry of Education.
  14. After joining the programme, what is the expected level of support from the school in helping the student adapt in the first year of enrolment?
    The school will provide the needed support to ensure that enrolled students adapt to the school environment within a relatively short period of time. The programme team will oversee this process to ensure a smooth transition.
  15. Can the student transfer to another school (within the programme) after enrolling in the programme?
    Yes, provided they adhere to the following conditions:
    1. The student has the right to transfer between schools only once during his/her enrolment in the programme.
    2. The student should have completed at least one year of enrolment in the school before requesting the transfer.
    3. Student school transfers can be within the programme’s approved list of schools.
    4. Student school transfers must not take place during the academic year.
    5. The student must score at least “Meets Expectations” in the latest student evaluation.
    6. The school to be transferred to must have available seats dedicated to the programme.
    7. Student school transfers are subject to KHDA transfer and admissions rules and regulations, in addition to passing the new school’s admission requirements.

    The transfer request should be submitted during the academic year, and the reasons should be clearly outlined in the relevant form and emailed to, If approved, the transfer will take place in the following academic year.

  16. Exactly what is meant by the word ‘distinguished’ in this programme?

    In the context of applying to the programme, a distinguished student is one:

    • Whose academic performance meets the academic criteria detailed in the programme, according to the grading scale specified for each curriculum, over the past three years.
      Curriculum Minimum Requirement


      90% or A-


      90% or A-


      6 or B



    • Who achieves high scores in placement tests conducted by the selected schools for the programme.
    • Who obtains high scores in personal interviews and other assessments.

    After joining the programme, a distinguished student:

    • Demonstrates continuous progress to achieve the required level, i.e. ‘Exceeds Expectations’.
    • Actively participates in curricular and extracurricular activities.
    • Participates in school programmes/activities that develop student skills and talents.
    • Maintains good conduct and an attendance rate that is not less than 95%, and abides by school rules and regulations.
  17. Under what circumstances could a student be terminated from the programme?
    The student could be terminated from the programme for several reasons, including:
    • Violating the conditions and obligations set out in the annual Parent Agreement with the programme.
    • Failure to achieve the required academic level.
    • Failure to maintain an attendance rate of at least 95% without providing a valid reason for absence.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions and obligations set out in the Parent-School Contract
    • Failure to abide by the school’s code of conduct.
  18. Are a student’s behavioural and academic performances being monitored?
    Yes, schools provide detailed reports about each student. The programme team at KHDA reviews reports and provides their final evaluation.
  19. What are the academic performance classifications used by the programme?
    The final evaluations are categorised as follows:
    • Exceeds Expectations
    • Meets Expectations
    • Below Expectations
  20. What factors does the KHDA team consider when providing their evaluation?
    Schools provide detailed reports on each student at the end of the school year. The programme team at KHDA reviews the reports and analyses the results prior to providing their final evaluation for each student. The evaluation is based on the following:
    • The student’s academic performance in the school’s regular assessments.
    • The student’s results in international assessments (if any).
    • The student’s performance in curricular and extracurricular activities, as reported by the school.
    • The student’s compliance with the school’s code of conduct, rules, and regulations.
    • The student’s attendance rate.
    • Comparing performance from the current academic year with the previous year in order to monitor the student’s progress (This is for students who have been in the programme for more than a year).
    • The student’s attainment level at the end of the school year compared to the attainment level of non-programme students in the same school.
  21. What level of performance is expected of a student to re-enrol in the programme for the next academic year?
    Every student in the programme is expected to achieve a ‘Meets Expectations’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations" at the end of the first year of enrolment to ensure continuity in the programme.
  22. Will the student be terminated from the programme if they achieve a ‘Below Expectations’ rating during their enrolment?
  23. What are the financial obligations on the parent if the student is terminated from the programme at the end of the academic year, whether by a decision from the programme or upon a withdrawal request from the parent/guardian?
    The financial obligations are determined according to the Parent/School contract; signed between the parent or guardian and the school participating in the programme, and Schools Registration and Refund Policy issued by KHDA.
  24. If my child was rejected this year, can I re-apply for the following cycle?
  25. Can I register my child in any school if they are no longer in the programme for any reason?
    Yes, the parent or guardian is expected to register the student in a school rated “Good” or better, as stipulated in the annual Parent Agreement. The student can also continue in the same school provided the guardian complies with the school’s requirements.
  26. What is the Parent Agreement?
    It is a document that specifies the conditions for enrolment , the obligations of the student accepted in the programme, and the responsibilities of the parents. The parent must sign the agreement and adhere to these responsibilities throughout the period of the programme. Should the parent or student breach the conditions of the agreement, the programme team has the right to take any of the actions specified in the agreement, including terminating the student’s enrolment in the programme.
Page last updated 06 June 2024
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