Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, President of Hamad bin Khalifa University and Vice President for Education at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), welcomed the Qatar Young Professionals Institute (YPI) to Dohaearlier this week. 22 students fromthe University of Maryland and Colorado State Universityin the U.S. are visiting Qatar to engage in a dialogue with a similar number of young Qatari professionalsfrom the higher education sector.
“This critical initiative focuses on the importance of student learning and development as essential components of effective higher education. The Young Professionals Institute provides an important opportunity for students in Qatar to further themselves in their professional development process. We are pleased to once again cooperate with Colorado State University and the University of Maryland in offering this program,” remarked Dr. Al-Thani.
The students’trip began with the Qatar Study Tour (QST),comprising visits toSouqWaqif, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Islamic Art,as well as abriefing at Fanar Islamic Cultural Center, setting the stage for the discussions that are now taking placeat the YPI.
Placed in teams with educational professionals from Qatar, University of Maryland and Colorado State University graduate students explored topics of recruitment, admissions, retention, and international student needs, as well as student affairs as a career path in Qatar. Their findings will then be offered to the wider student body and higher education professionals in the concluding YPI Symposium, wrapping up the students’ trip to Qatar.
“I have been fascinated by the devotion of the Royal Family of Qatarto ensure the future of the nation through education, science, and the arts,”said University of Maryland participant TiffaneChochran. “I have also been overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Qatar Foundation to ensure that our experience in Doha is a great one. This has truly been an unforgettable time.”
Jennifer Nival of Colorado State University further reinforced Tiffane’s views, commenting, “This experience has helped me expand my knowledge of higher education and student affairs globally. From the generous hospitality to the commitment to education, it has been a breath taking experience.”
Evan Witt of Maryland concluded, “This country has an uncanny ability to make dreams reality. I have been amazed by the visions of Qatari people and their ability to create their future.”
The 2012 YPI plays an important role in building human capacity inside Qatar. Dr. Dennis Roberts, Assistant Vice President for Faculty & Students Services for QFstated, “Offering opportunities for Qatari and expatriate workers to engage with leading institutions in the United States will deepen their understanding of how to enhance student learning and is essential for the future of higher education in the Gulf.”
By hosting the YPI and giving both international and Qatari students an outlet to discuss together subjects relevant to student leadership, QF is undoubtedly building Qatar’s future for a knowledge-based economy.