Posted on April 20, 2016

Qatar University’s 5th Study Abroad Fair held on April 18 drew over 22 academic institutions, as well as several ambassadors from countries who provide study abroad opportunities to QU students.

The popular event, organized annually by QU Scholarships and Partnerships Office was opened by QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham, in the presence of QU VPs and the ambassadors of Canada, Spain, The Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, and Sweden. Additionally, representatives from the embassies of USA, France, Germany and Switzerland were on hand to provide students with insights about graduate and undergraduate programs and scholarship opportunities available at universities and colleges in their respective countries.  Over 600 students benefitted from the wealth of information provided at the respective booths.

As with previous years, the event gave students the opportunity to meet embassy and academic representatives to learn about academic opportunities as well as cultural and other information about the various countries. QU faculty and researchers were also able to meet with their peers from overseas institutions and discuss possible academic and research collaboration. The event also included an MoU signing ceremony between QU and the Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID, Spain) to establish a collaboration between Qatar University and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a first step towards this, a lecturer for Spanish Language is expected at QU next September.

Commenting on the MoU, Ambassador of Spain to Qatar Mr Ignacio Escobar said that the MoU will serve to strengthen the cooperation between both institutions. He added:  “Continued discussions should pave the way for new agreements for research and collaboration with several Spanish public and private universities. This vision of seeking a wide array of different options and perspectives says a lot about the orientation of QU under the new leadership”. In his welcome remarks, Dr Al Derham said: “This event’s main objective is to promote various countries to Qatari nationals as destinations for graduate studies and to QU students who may benefit from scholarships offered by their governments as well as study abroad opportunities that will enrich their academic endeavors”.

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“With currently 66 scholarship holders in 11 countries around the world, it is fair to say that the objective to provide them with a variety of cultural and academic environments has been achieved”, he said, adding that the scholarship program is preparing another 40 scholars to leave in the coming year. “The Scholarships and Partnerships Office is always on hand to guide them in making an educated choice on their destination in line with their personal aspirations and that of QU. Since taking office in June, I met 23 returned scholars who had been hired at QU and I am sure they will be great ambassadors for the State of Qatar and Qatar University wherever they go”.

Dr Al Derham also noted the importance of the fair in matching QU faculty and researchers with international colleagues in order to establish research and other collaboration. Scholarships & Partnerships Office director Cesar Wazen said that QU has currently around 95 students on the program list. He noted that from 2011 to 2016, the number of enrolled students increased by 137%, reflecting national students’ passion to continue their graduate and undergraduate education at top prestigious universities around the world.  

Nathalie Siropt, community manager at Campus France said: “We are here today to meet QU students and inform them about the academic opportunities we offer in multiple academic institutions in France. There are some programs that are taught in English, while others are in French. The French programs require that the student should learn the language for two years before starting their actual major”. David Rochat, academic associate at the Swiss Embassy said: “We want to attract national students to learn about our special programs in international affairs, math, engineering, sciences and others. Being here today, we aim to facilitate students’ applications and help them to register in their preferred universities”.

Chemistry student at the College of Arts & Sciences Ali Al Sammak said: “The Fair provides students with information about further education after graduation through direct contact with representatives”. Civil engineer at the College of Engineering Abdulrahman Mustafa said: “I came here to know more about graduate opportunities offered by well-known academic institution. This will help me to shape my career for the coming years”.