Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development hosted the British Minister for Universities and Science, The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, earlier today. A welcoming committee received the minister and his delegation at the Qatar Foundation Visitors Center.
Dr Willetts, who was appointed Minister for Universities and Science in May 2010, listened intently to a presentation outlining the vision and mission of Qatar Foundation. He was also introduced to the many educational initiatives, community development plans and scientific research programmes undertaken by Qatar Foundation.
The British minister is currently in Doha on a two-day visit to meet with senior officials and discuss the UK’s commitment to building partnerships in education and research. Dr Willetts highlighted the UK’s engagement in science and innovation, and stressed his support for new collaborations that will benefit both nations.
“Education is clearly absolutely fundamental to future economic development, and you have got very ambitious plans for more education and we want to work with you and cooperate in ensuring that as many Qataris as possible have the opportunity of achieving their potential,” explained Dr Willetts. “I think certainly investing in education is crucially important and, looking at these plans, I think they are incredibly ambitious and far-sighted and they rival anything that is planned anywhere in the Middle East. I am here to see how we can cooperate to make that happen.”
He added, “In London, I had the great privilege of meeting HH Sheikha Moza at the Royal Society when we were witnessing the signature of the agreement with University College London that we were setting up here, its facility focusing on museums, and I have also seen at the British Library the research materials that we are going to be sharing with Qatar about Qatar's own history so there are already those connections, but we need to do a lot more and I am here to push that forward.”After the presentation, Dr Willetts was shown an impressive 3D scale model of the current buildings and future construction projects at Qatar Foundation. As his visit drew to a close, he signed the Qatar Foundation visitor’s book and was presented with a gift from the Foundation.
Dr Willetts will also be visiting the Qatar Foundation branch campus of University College London. UCL Qatar offers postgraduate programmes in archaeology, conservation and museum studies with the aim of nurturing a generation of cultural heritage professionals. As part of his visit, the minister will be speaking with the alumni of UK universities to gather views on their experiences and to seek their advice on ways of strengthening existing Qatar-UK collaborations.