The new academic year was inaugurated at Qatar University (QU) with the Annual Convocation address where QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham highlighted the organisation’s achievements over the last academic year and its continuing efforts to meet the labour market’s needs and QU’s commitment to providing an optimal learning environment to ensure student success.

The event was attended by QU leadership, deans, heads of departments, programme directors, faculty members, staff, students and alumni. Dr Al Derham also honoured QU members in various categories.

Dr Al Derham welcomed the new faculty members and administrative staff who recently joined the QU family. He said that QU has always played a pivotal role in providing efficient solutions to society’s concerns while fulfilling its aspirations and needs. He also noted that QU’s new strategic plan for 2018-2022 is a roadmap for the transition from the reform phase to the full transformation phase.

The organisation’s strategic plan started with an in-depth analysis of the challenges such as the academic risks that a large number of students may face, the small number of Qatari students who are enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes, the gap between the University’s outcomes and the ever-changing needs of the labour market, and the limited social and economic impact of research, among many others.

In light of these challenges, it is necessary to place the student at the centre of the planning and implementation process and to identify our values. The objectives and details of the new strategic plan will be announced to QU’s members in the upcoming weeks.’

On QU’s most recent achievements in ranking, Dr Al Derham said that ranking is an indicator and not a goal. He emphasised that the university’s main objective is to prepare highly qualified graduates who will contribute to building the country.

QU has been ranked 349 among the top universities in the world, 4th in the GCC and 5th in the Arab region in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2018, improving on its 2017 performance by 44 places. The University has also been ranked 37 in the QS Top 50 Under 50 2018 ranking among the world’s leading young universities founded less than 50 years ago, and among the top 500 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018, as well as 6th in the pilot THE Top 15 Arab World Universities Ranking.

Dr Al Derham also highlighted the recent achievement of the colleges of Education, Engineering, and Health Sciences in terms of academic accreditation and the graduation of six national students who have been pursuing their PhD degrees abroad, wishing all success to the 85 scholars who will add value to QU’s faculty body.

QU witnessed a considerable expansion, in line with the country’s ever-increasing development. The university recently launched five new undergraduate programmes in Physical Education, Physical Therapy, Fundamental of Religion in Quran and Sunnah, Fundamental of Religion in Creed and Dawah, and Sharia in Fiqh and Usul.  The research and graduate studies sector achieved a huge development,  reflected by the increase of the research outcomes from 928 in 2014 to 1,410 in 2016, at a percentage of 52%.

QU has also advanced its infrastructure and facilities via a range of building projects, including class halls for women, a gymnasium for men, student dormitories and the Early Childhood Center (ESC).

Following his address, Dr Al Derham distributed the following awards:

  • Outstanding Teaching AwardHasan Abdalla (Lecturer of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award runner-upProf Farhan Mujahid Chak (CAS Associate Professor of International Affairs)
  • Merit AwardProf Maha Khalil Al-Hendawi (Director of Core Curriculum Program) and Dr Ahmed Awaisu (Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy)
  • Media AwardDr Mohamed Kirat (CAS Professor of Public Relations) and Dr Mahjoob Zweiri (CAS Associate Professor of Modern History)
  • Employee of the Year Award –  Lolwa Al-Mansoori (Manager, Central Business Services, QU Social and Economic Survey Research Institute) and Raouf Mohamed Neffati (Section Head, Student Information System)
  • Young Alumnus AwardIssa Abdullah and Alanoud Ali Alfohaidi