Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


27/10/2014

Last week, QU hosted the 3rd Health Exhibition which saw the participation of over 70 institutes and organizations from sectors across Qatar and drew over 300 people including students from 14 high schools.   As well as raising public awareness of health issues in Qatar, and introducing the myriad of organizations that are engaged in advancing health, sport and fitness, the event was an opportunity to encourage high schools students and prospective university applicants to think about a future career in one of QU’s growing healthcare specializations which currently include pharmacy, human nutrition, and biomedical sciences, and public health.

The event fell within the month of breast cancer awareness, our seasonal flu vaccination campaign, and celebration of Mental Health Day that has as its theme “Quality of Life”.  QU continues to commit itself to addressing issues that impact on the health and welfare of the QU community and that of the wider society in its many outreach activities in cooperation with a variety of partners in Qatar.

Anticipated growth in degree programs and in student numbers reflects the evolution of the organization, and highlights its position as the leading higher education place of learning preferred by national students and parents. We are pleased to know that such evolution as well as our efforts to orient students from the high school level on our programs, courses, and opportunities, have resulted in a rise in enrolment every year.

This is a reflection of both the demographic trajectory of Qatar as well as increased accessibility and diversity in higher education.

Growth in the number of faculty members is also a reflection of the growing student population and of our commitment to ensure that classroom instruction is well-balanced, making the learning experience more effective, and engendering more active participation and knowledge-sharing among students.

What arises from QU’s rapid growth is the opportunity to offer new programs, broaden students’ knowledge and experience in existing and emerging fields of study, and foster a rich and diverse community of innovators. Such growth, however, also comes with a set of challenges. Faculty members are working to maintain academic standards and teaching quality in larger classrooms with a student population of increasing diversity including in the level of preparedness for higher education, all while trying to juggle teaching with research and professional development. Administrative units previously structured to function in a medium size university are now looking at student numbers that constitute a “large university” by international categorization standards. Many of the units offering support services from Information Technology to parking and facilities, classroom scheduling and traffic control (to name a few), are struggling to keep up with the pace of growth.  Fast growth is often as much a challenge as it is an opportunity, and meeting it is a responsibility to which we are strongly committed as it is critical to the to the human development pillar of QNV 2030 “to equip citizens to achieve their aspirations” and to the country’s ambitions towards a knowledge-based society.

As a key partner with national institutions as well as major private sector employers, we continue to establish agreements and initiatives that will serve to benefit our students and faculty, and by extension, the wider community. Examples of this are the recent signing with QAFAC to establish a Professorial Chair in Environmental Materials and with QAPCO for one in Mathematics, as well as the upcoming research cooperation with Qatar Petroleum.  There will be many more partnerships to come and initiatives to launch and they will invariably fall under the broader vision of the leadership of this country to build a model national university recognized for high-quality education and research and for leadership in economic and social development.