Public Affairs

AUK Alumna Rafia Tabaa Receives Kuwait Program At Sciences Po Student Paper Award

19th May 2021 | by the Office of Public Affairs

From a collection of over 300 eligible papers, AUK alumna from the class of 2020, Rafia Tabaa’s entry was selected for the Kuwait Program at Sciences Po Student Paper Award due to its excellent and outstanding quality.

Rafia’s paper, titled “The Legacy of Endowments in Higher Education: The Case of AlQarawiyyin University and Merton College, Oxford,” was praised by the program’s joint committee. Her paper explores the influence of waqf—Islamic endowment of property—on the quality of educational institutions. The paper aimed to achieve that by comparing and contrasting the waqf-based AlQarawiyyin University in Morocco and endowment-based Merton College in England. It has since been published on the Kuwait Program at Sciences Po’s webpage where it can be accessed.

AUK dean of the College of Business and Economics, Dr. Ralph Palliam reflected upon Rafia’s research paper and its content, stating, “Islam’s holistic view of human development recognizes and emphasizes the central role of education and knowledge.”  

While pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics, Rafia’s paper was nominated by her former economics professor, Dr. Ali Aljamal by virtue of its exemplary nature as it was one of the best papers written in the course.

Dr. Ali Aljamal referred back to Rafia’s paper and the importance of implementing the concept of waqf within the academic sector, as he elaborates, “To harness its potential in higher education, waqf for higher education institutions needs to be reformed and reestablished as a bedrock for sustainable economic and social development. Such reform could potentially involve reinvigorating the waqf system so it can assume its original role in sustaining innovative, autonomous and self-governed higher education institutions.” 

Rafia expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am very grateful to have been provided access to such a unique opportunity and to receive this generous award. My gratitude extends to AUK and my supervisor Dr. Ali Aljamal for his unwavering mentorship throughout the process of researching this topic.” 

AUK advocates for students to be active members of their campus and external community and encourages them to pursue competitions that cultivate innovation, creativity and originality, in addition to pursuing research and development projects.

Rafia’s paper can be read below under Fall 2019:

AUK Alumna from the class of 2020, Rafia Tabaa