The American University in Cairo Celebrates the Graduation of the 13th Cohort of The Access Microscholarship Program


The School of Continuing Education (SCE) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated the graduation of the 13th cohort of The Access Microscholarship Program. The program, funded by the U.S Department of State and managed by the U.S Embassy in Egypt, is a global scholarship program that provides a foundation of English language and 21st century skills to promising but disadvantaged high school students aged between 13 and 18 years old. The two-year program involves a variety of experiential tracks that develop cross-cultural understanding in addition to soft skills. The aim is to empower participants to pursue better educational and career opportunities and compete for future exchanges and study in the United States. 

“AUC has a long history of collaborating with the U.S. Embassy on a variety of projects. However, we have always had a soft spot for the Access program,” said AUC President Ahmad Dallal. “We thank our partners for having the vision to create such an impactful program and for their continued confidence in AUC to deliver it to its full potential.”

Since its inception in Egypt in 2006, more than 5,000 students have participated in the Access program. AUC’s School of Continuing Education (SCE) has delivered classes to over 2,000 of these students in more than 16 cities around the country. In addition to English language learning, the Access program includes an immersive skill-building camp and a community service project. This year, students focused on initiatives that complement Egypt’s environmental goals against the backdrop of COP27. They also performed a series of theatrical skits that demonstrated the significance of climate action.

Ambassador Daniel Rubinstein, U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires highlighted that the Access program is not simply about learning English. “It teaches life skills that will help you throughout your academic and professional careers,” he said.  “During your time as Access students, you have strengthened your English language skills, built self-confidence and developed critical thinking skills. You have become promising young leaders,” he added.

Kareem Mohamed, a graduating Access student from Cairo, reported feeling determined as he finished the program. “I want to do something useful for my community — the kind of work that is written in history books. It may sound ambitious, but I believe we can do it and I will do my best to achieve it,” he said.

Mahmoud Al-Kilany and Marwan Al-Kilany, Access students from Port Said made it extra special for their family to see them both graduate among the 13th cohort of the program. Their father Reda, expressed his optimal happiness and pride, saying: “It felt incredible to see my sons walking across the stage at AUC. It felt like I was rediscovering them. They started the program as children and they matured into remarkable young men throughout it. I’m a very proud father.”

This particular cohort will also be eligible to benefit from the upcoming Bridges Plus Program, which will facilitate for them a smooth transition to college life.

“The Access students are a constant source of inspiration and optimism for all of us at the School of Continuing Education,” said James Ketterer, dean of SCE. “They represent hope and possibility for their families and for the future of Egypt, and I thank parents and teachers for their constant support.”

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Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs. 

The University offers 40 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world. 

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.