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All photos courtesy of HBKU

Graduation week began in Education City yesterday with commencement events for students from Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q).

HBKU’s Class of 2017 included 148 grads, up 33 percent from last year’s cohort of 111 students.

The grads hail from 37 different countries, though many of them are from Qatar as well.

This year marked the first graduates to obtain master’s degrees from HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering. They were in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS), Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Environment.

In addition to those 17 students, there were also:

  • 87 graduates from the College of Islamic Studies;
  • 18 from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and
  • 26 with an Executive Master in Energy and Resources.

Dream big

During the commencement, keynote speaker Chaker Khazaal, a Palestinian-Canadian author and editor-in-chief of StepFeed and YallaFeed, talked about dreaming big.

He said:

“An achievement is an idea once dreamt that turned into reality with hard work, persistence and redefining possibilities.

Today, you are ambassadors for the power of dreaming by becoming graduates and ambassadors for your university, for your country and for our region.”

Next year, HBKU will graduate its first batch of law students and the first students to receive doctoral degrees from the College of Science and Engineering.

NU-Q

Meanwhile, NU-Q celebrated its first graduation in its own building this year.

The journalism and communications school also produced its largest-ever class, of 47 graduates.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Northwestern University in Qatar

Students and staff moved into the new building, which took almost six years to complete, at the start of the winter semester.

It boasts three video production studios, a multimedia newsroom, a two-story research library, a black box theater, multiple editing rooms and even an in-house museum.

The 515,000 square foot, four-story facility was designed by famous American architect Antoine Predock and takes inspiration from Qatar’s “desert landscape.”

A total of 765 students will graduate from Qatar Foundation schools this week, including from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (45), Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (57), Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar (62), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (109), HEC Paris in Qatar (137) and University College London Qatar (34).

Thoughts?

Photos courtesy of Qatar University and QNA

Qatar University celebrated the graduation of its largest-ever class this week, conferring more than 2,200 degrees in separate ceremonies for men and women.

On Wednesday, the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was the guest of honor at the men’s graduation, while yesterday, his wife Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al-Thani presided over the women’s event.

Both ceremonies took place for the first time at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) in Dafna/West Bay, which opened last November.

A total of 2,236 students made up the Class of 2016 – significantly more than last year’s 1,400 graduates and more than double the number of students who were honored in 2013.

Once again, females dominated, with 1,708 marking their graduation. Meanwhile, some 528 grads were men.

Some 271 high achievers achieved GPAs of 3.50 or more. Dawa student Rokaia Alameldin Chalabi, from the College of Sharia & Islamic Studies, was the top scoring female student, with a GPA of 4.0.

Accounting graduate Khaled Hosny Hosny was the highest-achieving male student with a GPA of 3.98 and he, along with the 66 other top-scoring male graduates, received his certificate from the Emir.

QU Graduation 2016

Qatar University

QU Graduation 2016

More than 100 students were the first graduates from seven recently-introduced undergraduate and Master’s programs: 22 achieved a BA in Policy, Planning & Development; 19 a BA in Psychology; 19 a BSc in Public Health; 11 a BBA in Economics; two a BBA in Management Information Systems; 43 a B.Ed in Secondary Education and one student achieved a MSc in Clinical Pharmacy and Practice.

Well wishes

Under the hashtags #QUGrad16 and #جامعة_قطر16, many took to social media to congratulate the students for their efforts, while the grads also reflected on their years in school.

‘Future leaders’

QU President Dr. Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, who succeeded Prof. Sheikha Al Misnad last June, said the students’ accomplishments come as QU witnesses “a period of transition, which is essential in light of fast-growing development in all sectors of the society, particularly the economic development from which resulted numerous changes in social, cultural and intellectual areas.”

QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham

Qatar University

QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham

Al-Derham continued in his address:

“From today, you will assume your role in building the country’s future  We encourage you to build on your talents, your knowledge and experience towards continued success and accomplishment as you proceed into new endeavors and seek new horizons.”

QU made it into a number of international rankings this year, including debuting in the Times Higher Education‘s list of the world’s top universities.

And in a bid to help fill a gap in qualified, homegrown medical expertise, the university launched its College of Medicine this academic year, accepting 80 students in the first intake for its MD program.

However, in March the university announced it would be relaxing its admissions standards to make it easier for more applicants to be accepted into most of its undergraduate programs.

It was the second time in the space of a few months that QU has revised its policies to make it easier for struggling students to improve their GPA and get a degree.

In December, it announced that its academic probation procedures had changed, making it more difficult to expel students from the university, and giving them more opportunities to make up for bad grades or failed courses.

Meanwhile, expansion plans continue at the university. It currently has a student body of around 15,000, but this is expected to rise to 25,000 by 2019.

Thoughts?

Photos by Mohammed Ismail and HBKU

Some 111 students celebrated graduating from Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) yesterday in a ceremony that launches a week of commencements in Education City.

The grads have obtained masters from the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (52), College of Science and Engineering (43) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (16).

The class of 2016 included Mohamed Shoiker, who graduates with an MA in Translation Studies after returning to school at the age of 56.

In a statement, he said:

“It’s still surreal to me, but in gaining this degree, I believe I have been a good role model to my children and shown them that I am someone who will still go to school and continue to learn even when they near the age of retirement.”

Some 700 people attended the event, including Qatar Foundation Chairperson Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.

She hailed HBKU’s research focus and urged the Class of 2016 to “apply what they’ve learned to build bright futures for themselves and their communities.”

HBKU will continue expanding in the coming years, with three new programs accepting students for the fall: a Master of Science in Data Science and Engineering, a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering.

Also last night, Northwestern University in Qatar graduated its class of 2016, which included journalism and communication students.

Congrats, all! Thoughts?