Faculty and staff from across Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), came together on September 13th to celebrate the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year.
At the gathering Dr. Ahmad Hasnah, President of HBKU, spoke of the importance of building an institution that provides access to high-quality education at postgraduate level in line with the needs of the nation and which plays and important role in developing the research capabilities of the country.
It will deliver an array of research education master’s and doctoral programs through its interdisciplinary graduate colleges: the College of Science and Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, HBKU Law School, College of Public Health, College of Business, and Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies.
Dr. Hasnah used the gathering as an opportunity to introduce the staff and faculty to Dr. Khaled Ben Letaief, a distinguished academic who became the university’s Provost earlier this month. Recognized by Thomson Reuters as a highly cited published author, Dr. Ben Letaief has won a number of awards in the field of teaching excellence and brings with him a wealth of higher education experience to the post, including his most recent role of Chair Professor and Dean of Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Among those gathered at the event were faculty and staff from the three research institutes that became integral parts of the university earlier this year. As a result of the integration HBKU is now home to the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), and currently offers academic programs through its College of Science and Engineering (CSE), Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII), Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), School of Law, and its Center for Executive Education.
Commenting on how the colleges and research institutes are well suited to working closely together, Dr. Hasnah noted how the programs offered by HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering have already been reaping the rewards of developing collaborations with the research institutes.
“The multidisciplinary way that we approach our programs is key, and by developing collaborations between colleges and research institutes our students will benefit from enhanced opportunities to learn from those involved in state-of-the-art research that targets important national and international issues such as renewable energy, cyber security, cancer, diabetes and personalized medicine,” he explained.
HBKU is committed to its part in achieving Qatar National Vision 2030 by building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience that extends beyond the classroom. Students will be given a unique platform to enrich their education by integrating their curriculum with society through interdisciplinary research.
Dr. Hasnah looked towards a bright future for the university, noting the talent of the diverse members of the assembled HBKU family. He commented: “As we continue to build upon a strong foundation of high-quality students, faculty, and staff, we look forward to developing the university into a globally relevant hub of scholarship and research. Our continued success depends on you all.
“Everything we’re now doing at HBKU is with Qatar and the region at heart and I look forward to seeing some of future graduates becoming the influencers of our country’s move towards a knowledge-based society.”
In line with its ongoing growth, the university welcomed 258 students as part of the new intake for 2015 and boasts a high percentage of Qatari students across its programs, including 62% in the Public Policy in Islam master’s program, 72% in the JD law program, and 90% in the Executive Master in Energy and Resources program. This year, the university also matriculated 11 Qatari Ph.D. students, who will explore topics across the important fields of sustainability and biological sciences.