Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


29/12/2014

First off, I would like to congratulate the College of Business and Economics on being awarded 5-year renewal of their accreditation with ACCSB.  The renewal is another highlight in the College’s accomplishments which last year saw the establishment of a dedicated Center of Entrepreneurship, a Business Incubator, and a Commercial Bank Chair.

In line with the requirements of its accredited status, the College continued its efforts of re-evaluation of its programs and its academic and research goals.  Activities included the launch of its Strategic Plan 2013-2016, and the expansion of its MBA Program with two new concentrations in business analytics, and entrepreneurship.  Planned new graduate programs include MA programs in finance, marketing and innovation, and business entrepreneurship to meet the new and emerging trends in the business environment in Qatar. Under development are two research centers — one in Islamic Finance, the other in Business Excellence – that will support the planned graduate programs as well as enhance existing ones.  Other areas of mention included the building of a community service culture at the College, and ongoing improvement of administrative efficiency.

CBE students continue to benefit from a wide range of opportunities for internships and sponsorships from leading companies in business and finance.  They have further benefitted from the College’s innovative Executive in Residence program in which they are mentored by high-level leaders in business and industry.

I applaud the efforts of the dean, faculty and students on this accomplishment which attests not only the quality of the College’s programs but also to its commitment to ensuring that students’ proficiency in both English and Arabic heightens their readiness for the internationalized business and finance sector in Qatar.

Additionally, accreditation is often a substantiation of a program’s effectiveness in continuous improvement based on assessment — an area of which the above mentioned developments at CBE are good examples.

As we have all experienced, continuous development is crucial in higher education and organizations must continue to evolve incessantly. I think one of the trickiest areas for continuous improvement is curriculum development. We are reminded that we must always be guided in our curriculum development by the evolving issues society faces and its needs and aspirations, as well as by the fast advances in knowledge –one of QU’s comparative advantages is its organic integration with the society it serves, and this should always be reflected in our curricula as much as it is in our campus environment, partnerships, etc.

At the same time, curriculum design needs to address not only the current needs of society and of the discipline, but also ask questions about  the degree to which our current curricula  prepare graduates for the foreseeable future, and the range of information and skills that graduates need to cope with and lead in fast-changing times. Our aim is to teach students how to think effectively for an unknown future, rather than compelling them to obtain knowledge that will be soon obsolete or to necessarily accept ideas presented to them. This is achieved through strong synergy between the core curriculum, the various specialized curricula and teaching and learning methods.

Last week, our students had the opportunity to meet and hear the insights of one of Qatar’s most prolific writers, Abdulaziz Al Mahmoud, who also shared some ideas about his new novel The Holy Sail.  We were very proud to host Abdulaziz and to bring our students once again together with individuals who are helping to shape the country’s cultural, social and economic progress and from whom they can learn the importance of living responsibly and being mindful, aware and connected to something larger than themselves.

This brings me to highlight CAS and CENG undergraduate and graduate students’ winning projects on reducing carbon footprint which is a timely global issue that impacts on us all and prompts our responsibility as global citizens to contribute to finding sustainable solutions.

Their impressive wins in the recent Hydro/Qatalum/CAM competition mirror those of CBE student teams in a recent competition organized by the College’s Community Outreach Committee in collaboration with Vodafone Qatar.   Among 8 submissions, the three winning projects highlighted corporate social responsibility, QU parking challenges, and various management styles.  Well done to all the winners and participants.

In closing, I wish all QU members the very best as we approach the end of the first semester and the beginning of a new year.