Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


I am very proud to announce this week what I believe will be an historic milestone in the development of Qatar University.  Based on a directive from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Board of Regents approved last Thursday the establishment of a College of Medicine at QU. The Board, chaired by HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, approved both the strategic and action plan for the College which were the result of a feasibility study conducted by a team of high-ranking members from Qatar University, Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar Leadership Center, advised by a selection of experts from top-tier universities.

The establishment of the College addresses the increasing need for Qatar-trained physicians, and supports the country’s growing healthcare sector and national strategies in healthcare and education.  Working collaboratively with key healthcare providers and educators, I am confident that the College will make invaluable contributions to strengthening clinical practice, medical education and research in Qatar overall.

On another note, last week’s Gas Processing Symposium was a big success, bringing together a host of experts, academics and researchers and over 300 attendees from Qatar and across the world to discuss ideas and innovations around the theme Natural Gas and World’s Energy Mix.  This biennial forum, which was held this year under the patronage of the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, has grown in international popularity since its inception in 2009, launching important networking and collaboration opportunities for QU faculty and researchers.

These opportunities present themselves through QU’s growing reputation for hosting internationally-recognized conferences and forums such as the European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information systems (EMCIS), also held last week – the first ever in the Middle East and Europe.  The conference fielded new and emerging trends in IS such as mobile government, smart cities, and investment in green information systems.

I would like to seize this opportunity to applaud educators at QU and throughout Qatar in celebration of the recent Teachers’ Day.  The teaching profession stands at the forefront of Qatar’s growth and progress and the College of Education  and its National Center for Educator Development has grown to become a leading partner in developing a cadre of teachers and educators whose quality of work will help to advance the country’s educational goals outlined in the national vision and development strategies.

It is a timely moment for education progress in Qatar that SESRI has just completed a new study on the evolution of K-12 curricula in the independent schools system.  The report focuses on the challenges in terms of curricula standards, content, teaching material as well as tests and evaluations in the schools. This study is critical for policymakers and educators in their efforts in addressing challenges and gaps in curricula improvement, which is a core element of education reform in Qatar. Studies of this nature are instrumental in linking theory, practice and decision making within the education sector and beyond.

Recently, we were honored to receive a donation of 100 books from the Japanese Embassy for our Library. This is the 8th year of the Embassy’s donation to the Library which also hosts a Japanese Corner among its collections.    This year’s donation was also in line with an initiative between the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and Japanese company Marubeni which includes lectures to increase students’ awareness of Japanese culture, language, history and heritage.  It enriches the Library’s ever-growing collections and provides QU members and the wider community with an opportunity to gain better insight and understanding of Japanese culture and traditions.