Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


Last week our Core Curriculum Program, in conjunction with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, hosted a conference on general education in the MENA region, under the theme “General Education in the 21st Century: A Paradigm Shift”. I believe that general education is a critical factor not only for good professionalism, but also for good citizenship. A great undergraduate education doesn’t suffice with equipping students with knowledge and skills in their fields of study.  It also strives to build their personalities in a transformative way, ensuring they have a well-rounded knowledge base in a variety of areas. I think promoting general education excellence in the region has a unique importance in that it can contribute not only to the competency of future professionals, but also to the caliber of the region’s talent.  In view of the cohesive approach to education that we discussed during convocation, and taking into account not only national but also regional needs and circumstances, and also the importance of benefiting from cross-cultural experiences and international trends, the conference on general education gains special value and importance.


International forums of this kind also further our interest in continuing to improve QU ranking, expand the University’s capacity in formulating educational policies at the national level, and continuing to assess and align the qualities of our graduates with the needs of a fast-developing labor market.
In this context of aligning graduate qualities with labor market needs, a new partnership was signed with Hamad Medical Corporation this week. By collaborating closely on areas like student training, cross-appointment of faculty, and graduate programs, we will ensure that the qualities needed for future healthcare professionals are well-aligned with the healthcare industry.  This is especially true for the College of Medicine, where students will spend almost half of their studentship training at hospitals. Equally importantly, the partnership aims to solidify research collaboration in the field, and to support collaboration and synergy in community service and health awareness activities.


Last week witnessed further support for alignment with local industry, through the signing of several important agreements. These included an agreement with QDSBG Group, which established a Professorial Chair in Civil Infrastructure at QU College of Engineering, as well as an MoU with RasGas, to establish cooperation in education and scientific research fields.


Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry H.E. Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada also inaugurated CENG’s 12th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management (IFIP PLM15). This conference along with many others emphasizes our focus on stakeholder engagement, making contributions to shape the future of this new field and advancing the science and practice of enterprise development.


In closing, I would like to proudly congratulate the Center for Advanced Materials on Al-Bairaq for being selected for the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) awards. I am also proud to congratulate Professor Hala Sultan Al-Easa,College of Arts and Sciences, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, for being listed among the “175 faces of chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry, in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of chemistry.


We are very proud of the caliber and the achievements of our faculty members. A university is only as good as its faculty members and one of our focus areas in the coming phase will be to review policies where necessary in order to empower faculty members and promote their professional development.