Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


Firstly, I applaud the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and College of Law (LAWC) for their recent announcement of the establishment of new graduate programs — PhD in Gulf Studies, and Masters in Public Law and Private Law respectively.

The PhD in Gulf Studies is the first-of-its-kind in the region, and builds on the success of the MA in Gulf Studies and the achievements of the Gulf Studies Center whose preeminence has been established in this unique specialty.  LAWC’s two new Masters programs, both taught in Arabic,  are the first of their kind in Qatar and aim to build an environment of high-quality legal research and scholarship that will advance the College’s position as the only law college in Qatar and enhance its competitiveness with peer-colleges with similar programs in the region.

In these three programs, QU is underlining its commitment to preparing graduates with specialist skills to contribute to the professional sectors in Qatar, consistent with the growing demands of the labor market and in line with the objectives and values of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the development strategies.

This week, QU organized and played host to the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) 2015 Regional Conference, addressing innovations in public opinion research, a field that is experiencing rapid growth and a topic that is very timely for Qatar and the Gulf and Middle East region.

Led by our Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) in cooperation with WAPOR, this forum was the first such in the region, highlighting the Institute’s position as one of the leading survey research institutions in the Arab world.  It also pointed to its wide-ranging collaboration activities that continue to draw top institutions from around the world.

The importance of this conference was reflected in the over 100 researchers who attended from institutions from around the world, including well-known keynote speakers and presenters in the field of survey research, fielding up-to-the minute regional issues such as social justice and democracy in the Arab world;  using technology to build accurate surveys;  attitudes toward and perceptions of women in the political sphere, and much more.

The conference’s theme of innovation is closely aligned with the core values of the research culture at QU and the objectives of our research roadmap, which in turn match the stated ambitions of Qatar towards a knowledge-based economy.  Recommendations emerging from the forum’s discussions and deliberations would no doubt be an invaluable contribution to policymakers, decision makers, researchers, and by extension, the region’s communities.

Last week, we were proud to celebrate our  distinguished students who were recognized for their academic distinction at the recent SEC Excellence Day Awards where, I am proud to say, QU was the main winner.

Congratulations to Fatima Khalifa M A Al-Sulaiti (College of Pharmacy), Hamda Hamed Alhababi and Noof Abdulhadi Al Fehaida (College of Sharia and Islamic Studies), Asmaa Saleh Al Mohannadi and Dhula Yousef Al-Horr (College of Engineering), and Turki Misfer Al Hababi (College of Business and Economics) who won the Gold Medal for achieving GPA 3.65 and above; and Sara Mohamed Al Ansari (College of Engineering) and Alanood Abdulla Al-Sulaiti (College of Law) the Platinum Medal for their GPA 3.61 and above.

Initiatives such as these awards serve to motivate students to quality and excellence in their academic and research studies.  They impact positively on higher education excellence in Qatar that is growing by leaps and bounds, and showcase the level of student achievement supported by education reform in the country.