Posted on September 22, 2014

A tailor-made programme of development activities to help university students in Qatar embrace leadership roles during the country's development was officially launched today. EBDA, meaning start in Arabic, will use experience-based leadership techniques to develop students’ skills, along with constant coaching and reviews by specialists in leadership development. Hundreds of students are expected to sign up to EBDA, which is offered jointly by Qatar University (QU) and Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar. Students who join will develop confidence in their ability to lead, learn how to work effectively with others, and discover ways to apply their leadership skills in the workplace and at home.

Ameena Hussain, Director of Student Life, Hamad Bin Khalifa University – one of the key partners in delivering the programme – said: “Qatar’s educational system has developed significantly in recent years, and as a result, more Qataris are going to university in Qatar than ever before and the country now welcomes thousands of international students each year. EBDA will build on the success of HBKU’s LeaderShape programme that has been proven to develop leadership skills. We are delighted to partner with Maersk Oil Qatar in what is a living example of how diverse organisations from different sectors, in our case in areas of education and oil, can come together to produce something that helps achieve the Qatar Foundation’s vision of “Unlocking Human Potential”.

Activities in the next year will include a business simulation in the Qatar desert, an international service trip, ongoing leadership training, and more. EBDA will increasingly be designed by students for students. A student leadership council will ensure that EBDA evolves to reflect the needs of students, employers and the State of Qatar.

Qatar University, HBKU and Maersk Oil 2 [].jpgMr. Abdulla Al-Yafei, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Services, Qatar University, said, “EBDA is the first programme of its type between QU and HBKU that is squarely focused on developing leaders through experience-based learning, which has been proven over 30 years as a way of building leadership capacity. In line with the vision of the student affairs department, which aims to create a learning environment for students by providing effective and innovate programs, EBDA will strengthen the students involvement and enrich their educational experience as well as personal development.”

EBDA is sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar as part of its broader contribution to the country’s 2030 Vision. Through its Action for Qatar social investment programme, Maersk Oil Qatar aims to support economic, social and environmental progress. EBDA compliments Maersk Oil Qatar’s internal Qatarization Strategy for employees, that seeks to develop future leaders.

Sheikh Jassim bin Saud Al-Thani, Head of Qatarization at Maersk Oil Qatar said: “Since first striking oil at Qatar’s Al Shaheen offshore field twenty years ago, Maersk Oil Qatar has been committed to supporting the country’s astonishing growth and development. We are delighted to sponsor EBDA and are committed to developed future leaders through experience-based learning programmes, that help students learn by doing rather than just rely on a classroom environment.”

Qatar University, HBKU and Maersk Oil 3 [].jpgStudents who complete EBDA will receive either a gold, silver, or bronze award that, over time will be valued by employers and society in the same way as academic grades. The programme hopes to foster a culture of personal growth and development among University students in Qatar.

Nick Ashley, from Redrock International , the delivery partner for EBDA, said: “The EBDA leadership programme provides a unique opportunity to inspire, challenge and train Qatar’s future leaders. The programme combines a “learning through doing” environment with some of the best current leadership theories and relevant mentoring. This approach, used by Red Rock International with businesses around the globe, embeds skills and behaviours and gives shape to passion. EBDA has the potential to grow leaders from Qatari society who are able to balance the values and tradition of Qatar with the demands and opportunities of a 21st Century oil and gas economy. ”