Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


As we near the end of another academic year and the end of my third term as president of Qatar University, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the university’s progress and development and on the assurance of continuity and smooth succession in leadership. Thanks to its dedicated faculty and staff and to its generations of committed students, Qatar University has made remarkable progress over the past decades, primary of which is its evolution into an autonomous institution guided by a vision, a mission, a robust strategic plan, and institutional values that are not dependent on the vision and objectives of individual leaders. Every phase of the university’s development has had its imperatives and unique characteristics, and every president that has been honored with this tremendous responsibility has contributed to an institutional legacy of which we can all be proud.

As evidenced by our key performance indicators in the academic, research, administrative and community service areas, we are on our way to achieving our vision to be a model national university and to becoming a leader of economic and social development. It is important to remember that succession does not halt progress or reverse achievements. Rather, it builds on the university’s accumulation of achievements and lessons learned while addressing the emerging needs and challenges of a new phase . As with all instances of change, succession will necessarily impact on an institution’s operations and will require patience and persistence, but it does not and should not halt progress. The ship sails steadily even as the captain changes.

This week, we played host to GCC leaders at a seminar held on the sidelines of the GCC Summit.  The event addressed the Council’s role and accomplishments and the recent developments taking place in the region. This forum was timely and useful for our students to learn about the region in which they live and to which they will contribute their knowledge, skills and experience as the next generation of leaders and change makers.

Another event this week that drew wide public interest was the “town hall” meeting themed “Tomorrow’s doctors as seen by their community” organized by the College of Medicine and the College of Business & Economics.  Discussions brought together parents, practitioners, students and the media to reflect on what it means to be an excellent doctor in the Year 2030.

I am pleased to confirm that Qatar University will be a dedicated spot on the rail system being constructed around Doha per an agreement signed with Qatar Rail last week.  In the terms of   the agreement, the two parties will advance coordination and communication for the construction and operation of the Red Line North Rail Station at QU in line with Qatar Rail Development Project (QRDP).

This highlights the cooperation between academia and industry and the commitment of both to serve the wider community through various services. This agreement will enhance our efforts to support national development activities as well as the aspirations of the society as the country prepares itself for hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 and other top international events.

Our 4th Study Abroad Fair is coming up very soon, and I trust our students will seize this opportunity to learn more about studying at overseas universities and our faculty and researchers to meet with their peers from external universities to discuss cooperation possibilities.  It is also an opportunity for national students to be motivated to decide on the next step in furthering their education and especially be apprised on the scholarship opportunities offered by QU and the State of Qatar .

Lastly, I would like to congratulate CENG students from the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning in being selected as one of the top 5 finalists in the ShellIdeas360 Global Competition which will be held in The Netherlands on May 22.  Team Passive  comprising Fatma Fakhroo, Sara Tariq Abdurahman and Hadeil Tariq Salaheldi, supervised by Dr Djamel Ouahrani will represent the Middle East in the final against teams from Imperial College London (UK), University of Illinois (USA), Petronas University (Malaysia) and  NanyangTechnological University  (Singapore).

The ShellIdeas360 is a global student competition to develop ideas that tackle the pressures on the world’s Food, Water and Energy resources. The finals will be beamed on the National Geographic Channel. The winning team will be awarded a once-in-a-lifetime NatGeoexpedition; additionally, the best ideas will be considered for funding in Shell’s Game Changer Program.