After a whirlwind week of graduation ceremonies, Qatar Foundation has graduated its largest-ever class this year, with nine universities conferring degrees on 549 university students.
The graduates – up from 437 students last year – hail from:
- Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Translation and Interpreting Institute);
- Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar;
- Texas A&M University at Qatar;
- HEC Paris;
- Northwestern University in Qatar
- Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
- Georgetown University – School of Foreign Service in Qatar;
- University College London Qatar; and
- Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.
Each institution held its own graduation ceremony this week, but all 292 female graduates and 257 male grads were invited to gather at the HBKU convocation on Tuesday, May 6 and given commemorative rings.
Starting with a mere 122 graduates in 2008, Education City’s schools have since conferred degrees to over 1,273 graduates in the fields of media, engineering, design, medicine, politics, business, museum curation and Islamic studies.
In his welcome address Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani, the president of HBKU, congratulated the recent graduates on their accomplishments, saying:
“Your experience at Education City has enriched you and equipped you to search for, and find, satisfaction in your lives and in your careers. Today you can enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Tomorrow you begin the next stage of your journey in which you will increasingly give back while, at the same time, continuing to learn. This is the spirit and the beating heart of Education City.”
Keynote speaker Wendy Kopp, who founded the Teach for All initiative, spoke at length about the importance of education in sustaining progress, and of her own experience in the field.
Having started the Teach for America program in 1989 as a new graduate from Princeton University herself, Kopp now manages over 11,000 teachers and 800,000 students.
Kopp instructed students to “consider (not only) where to direct your invaluable energy in these pivotal years, (but also to)… decide to pursue not only the instant innovations, but the slow and challenging work of building a new world where every child has access to an excellent education.”
She added that in a technology-saturated world interested in rapid progress, education was often neglected:
“This is the long game. It will take time. It will require deep change. But it is the only way to realize our aspirations of a world that is economically prosperous, peaceful, just, healthy, and sustainable.”
Reflecting on what lies ahead, Dana Al Ansari, a 20-year-old Qatari graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business told Doha News:
“It feels bittersweet because while I am excited to go out and start the next stage of my life, I am sad to leave CMU-Q and all the classmates and friends that I have made in the past four years.”
Michelle D’Lima, an Indian expatriate, and a recent Masters in Chemical Engineering student from Texas A&M, echoed the sentiment, saying:
“I feel honored and privileged to have graduated from TAMUQ. I will miss all the wonderful people I have had the chance to meet and interact with. (I hope) to land a good job that will allow me to contribute to enhancing the development of Qatar, the country I call home.”
Congratulations, graduates! Thoughts?
Note: This article has been updated to clarify that Education City and QF are not degree-conferring entities – only the universities operating inside of them are.