The success of the 2015 graduates of Qatar Foundation (QF) is a reflection of the comprehensive education cycle that QF has been providing since its establishment 20 years ago.
Through this process, QF has laid the foundations for the development of a generation of young Qataris empowered with the highest levels of education in order to fulfil its vision and mission of unlocking human potential, creating a culture of innovation and creativity, and building an advanced knowledge-based community.
The cycle places students on an educational path from an early age, starting from as young as six months old, right up to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. By also promoting a culture of science and research, education at QF encourages young men and women to create tangible solutions that will benefit the community as a whole.
QF’s Education City is home to Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a unique model of interdisciplinary education and research where specialist programs are offered at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), the Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII), and the College of Science and Engineering.
QF also partners with eight leading international universities to provide academic excellence and enable young people to acquire degrees in medicine, engineering, journalism, arts and humanities, in addition to postgraduate degrees in executive business and heritage preservation.
Najwa Al Thani is an inspiring example of one of the young Qataris to have participated in the complete education cycle provided by QF. Najwa enrolled in Qatar Academy in 1996 and continued her education through elementary, preparatory and secondary school at QF. She is now graduating from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), with a degree in Communication.
Discussing her academic journey through QF, she said: “I feel very lucky to have received a QF education; it has prepared me for life. I have experienced engaging with people from all over the world and experiencing the different cultures and communities. Qatar Foundation really helps you to become a global citizen.”
“I had the best world-class institutions on my doorstop. I knew I wanted to stay in QF after Qatar Academy, as it provided me with everything I required; therefore, there was no need to go abroad,” Najwa said of her decision to go to Northwestern University in Qatar, and study at a QF partner university. “The one thing about Northwestern is that it does not let you remain in your comfort zone, but pushes your boundaries, your limits, and your creativity. And this is one of life’s main skills; learning how to adapt to something that you are not used to at all. It is about thinking outside of the box.”
Hessa Al Misnad began her schooling at Qatar Academy at the age of six, and, like Najwa, she has been through the QF education cycle. She recently graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in International Politics from Georgetown University in Qatar. Speaking about how the education cycle plays an important role in the personal and academic development of an individual, she said: “QF makes a great effort to encourage students to ask questions, to push the boundaries in the way they think, in the way they learn, and in the way they choose to engage in different aspects within Education City and society.”
She went on to explain how her university experience helped to shape her personality - personally, academically, and professionally. “The university educates the whole person, as opposed to educating you as just a student,” she said. “Your whole life changes, your whole perspective on things changes, the way that you look at life changes. It is not limited to getting a degree; it is about making sure that what you are taking away from your classes and what you are learning from your professors, as well as what you are being exposed to, is influencing the way you think and providing you with the fundamental tools to succeed.”
Muneera Saad Al-Qahtani is another individual who has experienced the entire QF education cycle.She began her QF journey in 2007 at the Academic Bridge Program (ABP), which was established in 2001 to serve as a stepping stone and supports students in their transition phase between high school and university. A year later, she started her Electrical Engineering course at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She then went on to the Executive Master’s course in Energy and Resources at HBKU and is graduating this year as the youngest student in her class.
However, her QF journey is not finished. Muneera has applied to complete her PhD in Sustainable Energy, through the Research Scientist Track of Qatar Science and Leadership Programme (QSLP), and hopes to eventually work in a QF science and research-related entity.
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