Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)
Art education and curricula around the world are increasingly incorporating more technology. There is much more digitization and hybridization in terms of using computers and design and creative artwork. At our home campus in Richmond, the School of the Arts has developed and is developing more joint programs with the colleges of arts, medicine, and engineering. We are looking at partnerships like that here in Doha and have been in talks with the medical college at QU as well as Weill Cornell Medicine and with Carnegie Mellon University about potential collaborations. We offer programs in interior design, graphic design, and fashion design. Design thinking can serve as a bridge between the arts and other disciplines. Sharing those principles makes collaboration much easier. New programs we are considering include games and gamification, augmented and virtual reality, and other potential areas. Creative thinking brought together with design thinking is powerful. Thinking out of the box and thinking in new ways is a challenge everywhere but is stronger in traditional cultures. Qatar wants to encourage and facilitate the creative and critical thinking necessary in a fast-changing society. It is seeking ways to encourage and develop critical thinking. For example, the Qatar Foundation is establishing a K-12 school dedicated to teaching students to think critically, creatively, and independently, with the curriculum centered around arts and design.
Director, University College London (UCL) — Qatar
UCL Qatar was created as a partnership between UCL, Qatar Foundation, and Qatar Museums to establish a center of advanced academic teaching and research in cultural heritage. The academic program in library and information studies came later to address an emerging national need to support knowledge management in education and economic diversification. UCL was also brought here to facilitate a journey of education that aims to create a group of professionals who can connect the past to the future through research and education and assist with setting the conditions for a knowledge-based economy. UCL Qatar designs courses that are uniquely specific to the challenges of Qatar. The Qatar Foundation had a vision to create a network of leading universities in Education City and gave us the responsibility of developing a center of activity for research, learning, and continued professional development in the areas of cultural heritage and knowledge management. Our ongoing professional management executive training programs have seen the participation of more than 2,100 people. We are able to bring in the best global experts to focus on a local problem and help the state understand the potential that heritage and knowledge management can play in Qatar’s economic diversification. About 20% of our students are Qatari. Of those, over 80% are female, which is among the highest rates of female participation in Education City.
Dean, Deborah White
We are the only institute that offers nursing education programs in Qatar, and over the years we have grown from seven students to 520 students. Our goal is to have over 800 students by 2023. We started with a four-year baccalaureate program and then added a two-year post diploma baccalaureate program. We eventually introduced a nursing foundation program to support students, and, working with our local healthcare partners, added a master’s in nursing. In addition to nursing programs, we also offer continuous professional development. One of the most successful programs is the vaccination program initiative with primary healthcare corporations. We initially planned to train 250 nurses, but in the end, we trained 282. In the second vaccination program, we will also include pharmacist nurses and physicians. Around 16% of our students are Qataris, and that increases to 40% in the master’s in leadership program. We always want to recruit more Qatari students to our university, but we also recognize there is a limited number of possible candidates. Our board of trustees recognizes the issues and has been proactive in offering a tuition structure that is consistent with our Canadian campus. There is also a real push to look at trauma and emergency care, and we have developed electives in view of that and the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Dean, Georgetown University Qatar (GU-Q)
We were first established as a school of foreign service in Qatar. We offer degrees in international politics, history, and economics as well as culture and politics. Our School of Foreign Service (SFS) is one of the leading institutes on the subject in the whole world. SFS has graduated a great number of ambassadors and professional diplomats, and this year it celebrates its 100-year anniversary. We also offer a number of minors and certificates, including a minor in media and politics offered jointly with Northwestern University in Qatar, and we are now exploring opportunities to offer more joint minors with other partner universities in Education City. We are in conversation with Qatar Foundation to explore the possibility of introducing not only undergraduate offerings but also graduate degrees. We have made concerted efforts to recruit students and teachers from all over the world. As a result, we have bigger classes. In addition to our local recruitment efforts, we intensified recruitment globally. As a result, we have had students representing more than 50 nationalities. There are several emerging fields of expertise at GU-Q. Our faculty and students research and write scholarly articles and books on the Gulf region. We have faculty and students also producing research on the Indian Ocean region. We also offer unique contributions in the field of Islamic studies, including Islamic bioethics, for example.
President, Community College Qatar (CCQ)
CCQ started in 2010 with around 300 students in partnership with Houston Community College. We had only two diplomas, an associate of arts, and an associate of science. We have grown since then to 5,000 students, making us one of the fastest-growing educational institutions in Qatar. We currently have 150 faculties and between 150 and 200 support staff. We have 15 programs, including bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology, electrical and mechanical, public administration, and IT, which covers both networking and cybersecurity. We have a few unique programs such as logistics, which no one else offers in the undergraduate space. The same goes for public administration and engineering technology. Our public administration program is the most competitive. Our main purpose is to prepare students for the market by offering specialized diplomas such as logistics, business administration, and engineering technology. All our programs prepare the nation’s youth and give them opportunities to advance their knowledge. We also have specific programs like logistics for the Armed Forces and customs for the Customs Authority tailored to specific employers. We serve both semi-independent government agencies as well as the public. Our engineering and technology programs serve the oil and gas sector, the water and electricity industries, and other specialized industrial areas, while our public administration programs can support all government efforts.
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