Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


05/01/2015

As we continue our path of development and progress, it is important for us to advance our contribution to national Qatarization efforts and encourage national staff, students and faculty to ready themselves to take the reins in leadership positions at QU and within the labor market.

To this end, the fast developing Scholarship Program at QU has been a sustainable resource of national faculty members and future leaders. We have been thrilled to watch students from the Program get admitted into some of the best universities in the world, graduate successfully, and proceed to achieve remarkable heights of career success serving QU as leaders or moving onward to serve Qatar in many other ways.

Currently, 62 national scholarship holders are pursuing Master’s and PhD degrees at top-tier universities around the world such as Imperial College, Karolinska Institute, Columbia University, University College London, and Johns Hopkins University.  Additionally, 20 distinguished graduates were selected during the AY 2013-2014 to pursue Master’s and PhD studies abroad in the near future.

In our annual scholarship student gathering yesterday January 4, we seized the opportunity to highlight the accomplishment of 19 returnees and to give our soon-to-be graduates an insight into the academic and life experiences that scholars such as Dr Mohammed Al-Khulaifi and Ms Aisha Al-Rashdi have gained during their studies.  We were pleased to have the presence of several ambassadors as well as the British Council director at this event as their respective efforts to foster academic and cultural experiences for our graduates have been invaluable.

I am an enthusiastic supporter of the international educational experience. I believe it contributes to professional and personal growth and development well beyond the formal education earned or degree attained. It broadens one’s horizons and enables adaptive analytic skills as well as the ability to move effectively between micro and macro views both of which are important to different situations. At the same time, I do believe that studying at home has many benefits. It cements a connection to one’s cultural identity and engages an understanding of the predicaments and particularities of one’s own society.

Today Qatar is offering a wide range of higher education alternatives here at home and the momentum of growth in the higher education sector has been remarkable. High-school graduates can  now choose from a wide range of universities and colleges depending on their interests and inclinations including the many branch campuses of elite international universities at Education City, Haman Bin Khalifa University, Community College of Qatar, College of the North Atlantic,   the Police College, Ahmed Bin Mohammed Military College, Stenden University, University of Calgary in Qatar, Joaan bin Jasim Joint Command & Staff College, and of course Qatar University.

Naturally, as a national university, this expansion in higher education offerings means increased competition, especially for Qatari male students — but it also presents wonderful opportunities for collaboration, partnership and constructive competition. We are proud to continue to be the first choice for the majority of high school graduates and that our enrollment figures have continued to rise dramatically over the past few years.  The opportunities arising from such rapid growth include the opportunity to offer new programs, broaden the impact that education has on society, and foster a rich and diverse community of innovators.

The emphasis we have placed on supporting student success particularly in the past few years, conveys our determination to keep our eyes on the quality of education across various levels as we improve accessibility and increase the variety of programs offered, including graduate programs. This includes the experience inside the classroom as well as expansion in remedial learning, integration of new technology and other learning support functions, giving keen attention to the entire student experience including the flow of students into and through the university. This has translated into the launching of the First Year Experience Program, an improved and expanded Orientation Program, more focus on quality academic advising, and upgraded learning support centers and student support functions. All of this aims to maximize our students’ ability to achieve their full potential and to become life-long learners and successful professionals.

Lastly, and in keeping with the theme of life-long educational and professional development, I would like to draw attention to the ongoing efforts by the Continuing Education Office to provide courses in areas of key importance to the labor market.   The Office continues to add to its growing portfolio of language literacy and skills-based courses and programs, recently announcing the provision of GRE, GMAT, SAT, IBDL to name a few, from well-known agencies such as Kaplan, CIPD and Bradfield Group.

This highlights QU’s commitment to lifelong learning and to providing its community and the wider society with opportunities to advance their aspirations for high-quality certifications that will add value to their existing qualifications and enhance their journey towards personal and professional success.