Posted on December 03, 2017

Qatar University (QU) released details of its new strategy (2018-2022) themed “A Strategy for Transformation From Reform to Transform” at a launching ceremony held at QU Library.

The event was attended by QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham and QU Chief Strategy and Development Officer Dr Darwish Al-Emadi, as well as QU leadership, college deans, faculty and staff. It featured the screening of a short film on “QU Strategy (2018-2022)”. QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham noted that QU’s new strategy is inspired from the speech of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on July 21, in which he said: “We require diligence, creativity, independent thinking, constructive initiatives and interest in academic achievement in all disciplines, self-reliance and fighting indolence and dependency. This is not just wishful thinking, and these are not mere dreams. Our goals are realistic and practical.”

Dr Al Derham highlighted the importance of education as it is placed at the heart of Qatar National Vision 2030. He said: “QU is the country’s first higher education institution. It has been an educational pioneer from the outset. We have rigorously pursued educational excellence and the highest quality research. We are dedicated to the improvement of opportunities for all our students.” He added: “Building on the successful development of the University into a preeminent educational institution, we have developed a new five-year strategy (2018-2022) which will map out the routes to achieving continuing performance excellence and build on our achievements in our key areas of education, research, institution and engagement.”

He also noted that QU’s strategic direction is derived directly from the University’s mission, new vision and core values and has been based on comprehensive strategic analysis. “Our goal is to deliver the best possible education to our students, to energize them to use their talents and to inspire them to achieve their potential”, he said, adding, “Our graduate and postgraduate programs have earned us a huge reputation as one of the most prestigious universities in the region -- a reputation we are determined to uphold. We have a growing number of master’s and PhD programs and an ambitious research capability which focuses on national development priorities. Our graduates are increasingly sought after in business and academia.”

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Dr Al Derham further noted that QU’s new strategy is built upon the accomplishments and experience of the past 24 years. He said: “To develop this strategy, substantial analysis of current achievements, the aspirations and requirements of stakeholders and international and regional trends was carried out. We also took into consideration the plans and aspirations of Qatar National Vision 2030.” He highlighted that QU is committed to six core values, derived from its guiding principles and aligned with its mission statement -- Excellence, Integrity, Academic Freedom, Diversity, Innovation, and Social Responsibility.

Dr Al Derham outlined QU’s core strategies which include Teaching and Learning Strategy, Student Experience Strategy, Research and Knowledge Advancement Strategy, Institutional Excellence Strategy, and Engagement Strategy. He also pointed to the enabling strategies, which are spread across the QU’s goals and which include Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

On higher education transformation, Dr Al Derham noted that QU is committed to transform higher education in Qatar by proactively playing a leading role in shaping and enabling the transformation of the nation’s higher education system. He said: “We are positioning QU to transform into a proactive institution which leads higher education in Qatar by strategically harnessing the capabilities of other providers, while addressing the developmental needs of the nation as it moves towards a knowledge-based economy.”

On education excellence, Dr Al Derham said: “We aspire to be an educational institution which offers the next generation of degree programs. Current degrees will need to be reimagined and reconstituted, competency-based learning should be embedded into the curriculum, which is to be supported by experiential learning methods. Resources will be directed to recruit, invest in and retain leading faculty and researchers, and we will draw on their creativity in reconstituting the curricula and pathways in a manner which distinguishes QU as a model national university. Our mission is to equip the current and future citizens of Qatar with the skills, expertise and competencies they need to be able to contribute to, and lead, Qatar’s development for the benefit of future generations.”

Dr Al Derham pointed to the importance of preparing graduates who are well-rounded with attributes and values that maximize their impact. He noted that QU’s new strategic direction will tackle the barriers to success which face the students. “We are implementing a holistic response which supports students from the high school level through to graduation, thereby enabling student success and a positive experience”, he said.

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He also pointed to the importance to excel in research that is focused, relevant, measurable, solution-oriented, impactful, and collaborative while advancing knowledge and innovation. He said: “To further maximize our impact and drive innovation and leadership, we are transforming our research model to identify and focus on key areas where we have a comparative advantage. Research will be fully integrated with graduate studies and will actively promote QU-industry research projects and partnerships to support Qatar’s economic development.”

On institutional excellence, Dr Al Derham observed that QU strives to be recognized as a benchmark for organizational and operational excellence and sustainability. He said: “As a national university, we aspire to motivate and inspire and be a source of pride for our nation. To achieve this goal, the University will transform its organizational and operational structure to become a sustainable institution based on revenue generation and diversification, and the effective and efficient use of resources and assets. It is envisaged that this will be grounded in a renewed governance system, which will operate in an environment based on quality standards and operational effectiveness frameworks.”

He also highlighted the engagement excellence which aims to foster effective engagement with local and international stakeholders, enrich education, strengthen research, impact socio-economic development and enhance visibility and image. He said: “Input from governmental and industrial sectors will enrich our curricula and research and in return, the University will provide technical expertise in those niche areas where we demonstrate excellence. Our expertise, research, innovation and education will be linked to the wider socio-economic needs of the nation.”

In closing, Dr Al Derham highlighted the cross-goals such as entrepreneurship and innovation and digital transformation, and which affect many of the university-wide systems and processes. He pointed to the importance of incorporating digitization into activities and processes related to QU students’ experience, teaching and learning, research, engagement and entrepreneurship to enhance their outcomes and impact. He also highlighted the necessity to accelerate the development of entrepreneurial ventures, technology start-ups and commercial outputs.

“We have enormous pride in how QU is meeting its challenges and achieving its goals with an unyielding commitment to realizing our mission and vision. With this strategy in place, we have positioned the University as a powerhouse of intellectual and academic achievement, without losing sight of the pastoral and nurturing care of our students and colleagues”, Dr Al-Derham said.