Posted on July 01, 2015

Beginning this fall, the 400 predominantly Qatari students of Awsaj Academy will benefit from the expertise of University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) nurses. Thanks to a new partnership between UCQ and Awsaj Academy, UCQ nursing students will create and implement health and wellness projects directed to the specific needs of the Academy’s students. Collaboration and exchange are integral to this partnership. UCQ students will work closely with Awsaj students, their families, and staff to on projects intended to enhance the health and wellness of the Awsaj community.

UCQ, Qatar’s sole academic institution for the nursing profession is committed to supporting Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2011-2016, fostering world-class healthcare that is provided by highly skilled professionals. “Meaningful engagement within the community is an important part of UCQ’s mission,” explains Dr. Kim Critchley, UCQ Dean & CEO. “Our students are eager for the opportunity to become involved with Awsaj Academy and to contribute to making a positive impact on the health of that whole community.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” says Behi Nikaiin, Practice Education Coordinator and Senior Nursing Instructor at UCQ. “UCQ is committed to serving the Qatar community. The collaboration with Awsaj Academy extends our students’ ability to be involved in community development. As this unique school provides services to children with learning challenges, UCQ students will be engaged in a very real-world situation. Our students are eager to contribute positively, and to bring benefits to the health of the entire community.”

Dr. Tracy Hardister, Head of Teaching and Learning at Awsaj Academy, looks forward to working with the UCQ nursing students. “They bring with them a valuable opportunity to enhance our focus on the ‘whole child’ as we promote healthy bodies and minds. I view this collaboration as a growth and learning experience not only for the UCQ students, but for the Awsaj community.” Since UCQ established its internationally recognized Canadian nursing education in Qatar in 2007, 150 nursing professionals have graduated from its gold-standard Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programs.

Over 450 students are enrolled in its BN programs. Currently, 30 students are enrolled in its three Master of Nursing (MN) streams, which include the MN Leadership, MN Oncology and MN Thesis-Based programs. The first MN graduates to be educated in Qatar and specifically for Qatar will convocate in November 2015 along with 85 BN graduates.