Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


Dear colleagues and students,

I had the privilege over the past few days to spend some time communicating with members of the university through various events and meetings. These opportunities have been instrumental to the evaluation and planning process of the current phase, but they will not be limited to it; on the contrary, I hope that direct and open communication will always be a strong value and essential characteristic of the university.


On Thursday, two very fruitful open discussions with students were held through “Meet the President” event at Ibn Khaldoon hall. It was a precious opportunity for me to hear students express directly their views, questions, concerns, and aspirations.  I believe that every student is unique and of value, and their views and opinions are prized and always worth earnest consideration.  I am grateful to those who attended and spoke openly and also to those who submitted their comments through the online system in the week building up to the event. We will have many more opportunities for open discussion in the future. Anthony Robbins says “the way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives”. Likewise, I believe the way we communicate with ourselves and with each other determines the quality of our university.


Shortly after the event, a closed meeting with the Student Representative Board (SRB) gave me insights on some of the key issues facing students today as well as their ambitions for their university. I learned more about the SRB’s governance structure, role, achievements, and goals and I can say, I am impressed and proud of the motivation, dedication and talent of these young men and women.


On Sunday we held the Annual Convocation, which was well-attended by faculty and staff and in which I had the opportunity to share my views on the coming phase.

As we continue in the path towards taking Qatar University to newer heights, we must remember that reform is a cohesive process that is built on careful consideration of institutional realities, national needs, regional circumstances and international trends, while consistently being guided by the compass of the national vision.


Progress is an ongoing process, with no end line and in the coming phase we will work together to build on the reform and to take QU into the era of transformation. During this phase, focus will be geared towards excellence and leadership in niche areas, as well as playing an increasing role in supporting Qatar’s economic and social growth and development. The coming strategic planning cycle will focus on transformation that aims to promote educational and research excellence and to maximize institutional effectiveness. It is also a transformation that aims to advance knowledge, maximize impact on students and on society, and to drive innovation.


In closing, my sincere congratulations to all the winners of the academic and non-academic QU awards announced during the Convocation. The 2015 Merit Award went to Dr Atif Iqbal, and runner-up Dr Jassim Al Khayat. Congratulations are also due to Faculty Service Award winner Dr Kaltham Ghanim, and to runner-up Dr Maha Al-Hendawi. The online course development award went to Dr Basyouny Nahela, and the Outstanding Contribution to the Media Award Dr Hanan Al Fayadh; congratulations to them both.


Non-academically, the Employee of the Year Award went to Mr Mohammed Saleh Al-Saadi, and the Young Alumnus Award to alumni Mr Saleh Hamad Al Marri and Mr Sultan Nayef Al Thani. Well done to them all.


I would also like to congratulate those recognized for Long Service Awards and thank them for their dedication to this institution for over three decades. May their journey continue to be successful always.