Jumeirah English Speaking School student Adam El Rafey is now a first-year student at the University of Wollongong in Dubai … and he is just 12-years-of-age!
Adam is passionate about education reform and feels that people should be judged on their abilities rather than their age
Believed to be the youngest person to be accepted by a university in the UAE, Adam will study a media course at the university while finishing his studies at Jumeirah English Speaking School.
He has been attending both primary and secondary schools since he was in Year Four, where he studies advanced physics, chemistry, and biology with students who are four to six years older than him.
Adam is passionate about education reform and feels that people should be judged on their abilities rather than their age and, as one of the youngest TEDx speakers in the world, he has spoken in front of thousands of people about the need to reform the traditional system. “I’m super happy that the changes are being made on the subjects that I’m most passionate about. I’m so, so excited that things are finally happening,” he said.
He was recognised in December by the Future Minds Network, an Australian organisation, as one of the top 25 young pioneers and innovators in the world.
Speaking about his introduction to university life, Adam explained: “I’m really excited about everything. It’s been fun so far during my orientation and my first class, and everyone has been amazing and really supportive.
“Being the youngest person to attend university in the UAE feels amazing. Everyone was so supportive and wanted to network with me. I made a lot of new friends which I think will be really beneficial throughout my life. Thank you to the University of Wollongong for accepting me and being so welcoming. And a special thank you to my amazing school for personalising my learning journey all these years and for being so supportive the entire way through and allowing me to attend the university.”
Adam had been assigned a student ‘buddy’ who will mentor him and help him to navigate university life
Joice Priya, Head of the Office of Institutional Research at the University of Wollongong, said: “He is certainly the youngest child in the country to be enrolled at a university in the UAE.” She went on to explain that Adam had been assigned a student ‘buddy’ who will mentor him and help him to navigate university life.
His time at university will not only be spent studying but also participating in extracurricular activities and events that will allow him to socialise with other students and faculty members.