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Almost 300 university students across Doha are celebrating their success after completing Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Maersk Oil Qatar’s experience-based leadership development programme, EBDA, to become Qatar’s future leaders.

Representatives from Maersk Oil Qatar and HBKU attended the ceremony on 15 April 2015 at the HBKU Student Centre Ballrooms, to celebrate students’ extraordinary achievements and reward them for starting their leadership journey.

EBDA, is an experience-based leadership programme sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar and aimed at university students in Qatar. The programme offers students the opportunity to become certified in leadership across three tiers; EBDA Bronze, EBDA Silver and EBDA Gold awards, depending on the number of activities completed during the course of their university careers. As students’ progress through the tiers, the complexity of their leadership training increases.

During this year’s awards ceremony, 44 students, received awards for their completion of EBDA programmes. Two gold (for completing nine or more programmes), 13 silver (for completing 5-8 programmes) and 29 bronze awards (for completing at least three programmes) were presented at the ceremony.

A student from Texas A&M University in Qatar who received a Silver award, Al Nada Al Kubasi, said:

I am extremely honoured to have received a Silver award as part of the EBDA programme this year. I was part of the Leadership Council and the EBDA Institutes which was an incredible experience, and allowed me to gain greater confidence in my ability to lead and to work effectively with others. I have already discovered ways to apply my leadership skills at University and hopefully will be able to do the same very soon at work.’

Head of Qatarization at Maersk Oil Qatar, Sheikh Jassim bin Saud Al Thani, said:

It was incredible to see so many bright and talented students at our first ever EBDA awards ceremony. I would like to congratulate all participating students who actively sought new challenges and perspectives in Qatar and beyond in order to develop as our next generation of leaders. In today’s workforce, both in Doha and around the world, employers are constantly seeking graduates who are team-oriented, critical thinkers and effective communicators, and the EBDA program makes this a reality. EBDA is part of our ongoing commitment at Maersk Oil Qatar to develop Qatar’s youth and give the next generation of leaders the opportunity to thrive and flourish in the workplace. We look forward to seeing even more students take part in EBDA next year.’

Since EBDA’s launch in September 2014, students from thirty nationalities have taken part in ten unique activity-based programmes, ranging from team-building challenges in Qatar (LeaderShape and the EBDA Desert Challenge), to community service work in Indonesia and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, that aim to equip them with skills to become exceptional leaders in the future. EBDA’s fourth and final international destination of the year will be Oman in May, where thirty students will embark on challenging outdoor experiences, led by Outward Bound Oman.

Director of Student Life, Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Ameena Hussain, who attended the awards ceremony, said:

I’m immensely proud of every single one of our students for taking part in the EBDA programme in the midst of their studies, to gain the vital skills needed to develop them into Qatar’s finest future leaders. I wish all of our students the best of luck in the future and know that they will use the knowledge and skills that they have learnt thorough the various EBDA programmes for many years to come.’

EBDA is unique in its approach; its courses are designed to take students out of the academic classroom environment to help them gain personal skills through the experience of managing themselves, working with others and developing their leadership capabilities. To find out more about EBDA and next year’s activities please visit (ebda.qa).