Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) organized its annual Family Day on the 13th of October. This event was an occasion for the parents and family members of all students of participating universities and programs to experience the environment in which the students study, live, discover, and grow during their academic careers.
Participating universities included: Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University and Northwestern University. Qatar Foundation’s Academic Bridge Program was also represented.
Family Day 2012, now in its 4th year, was held at the Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center. The event also provided an opportunity for parents to interact with university faculty and staff.
After an early morning breakfast, the families attended a fair to learn more about the various opportunities for student involvement throughout their academic careers. The fair also focused on academics and how to balance university studies with student involvement.
The fair was followed by a welcome address given by Dr. Khalid Mohammed Al Khanji, Vice President of Student Affairs at Hamad bin Khalifa University. Dr. Al Khanji emphasized that the main aim of Family Day was to facilitate the communication between Hamad bin Khalifa University, its partner universities and parents. He stressed that he wants parents to feel confident that the students are getting the best university experience through a combination of learning inside and outside the classroom.
Dr. Al Khanji’s address was followed by speeches from a parent and current students, who shared their experience with the attending families.
Dr. Marwan Al- Musleh, a parent with two daughters currently studying at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar said, “It is vital to look at the final outcome of studying at university. Students at Hamad bin Khalifa University benefit from better opportunities on a local and international level. All of this is directly in line with the Qatar National Vision, specifically the human development and social development.”
Third year Northwestern University Student and Hamad bin Khalifa University Ambassador, Yara Darwish then gave a student perspective on university life. “The many benefits of studying at a university within Qatar is that you don’t have to leave your home in order to get a world class education” she said; “Hamad bin Khalifa University as a multi campus university has really furthered my university experience and I strongly encourage other students to get involved in clubs, societies, and other activities as this is what makes a well rounded student.”
Ahmed Al Meer, a first year student at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar said “the university experience moves quickly and so it’s important to take advantage of all of the opportunities that come your way.” He continued by saying “the biggest gift that can be given to all students is invaluable academic support and a full range of student activities. While at university, students have the chance to start their own club and be involved in their own initiatives.”
As part of Family Day, students and their families were also invited to attend sessions introducing the various academic programs offered by the branch campuses. These campus sessions gave parents a valuable glimpse into what university life is all about as well as a better understanding on the nature of each of the universities disciplines.
Hamad bin Khalifa University will provide an unparalleled opportunity for scholarship, teaching, discovery and learning for all its students. Family Day gives parents the chance to see first-hand how Hamad bin Khalifa University also strives to create an engaging community with its Student Center acting as an academic, social and recreational hub for all university students.
A 350,000 square foot facility, Hamad bin Khalifa University’s Student Center is traditionally considered to be the “living room” of Education City as the hub for both formal and informal interactions between students, faculty and staff. Hamad bin Khalifa University’s Student Center offers a wide variety of educational, cultural, social and recreational activities for students.
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