By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
The University College of London Qatar (UCL Qatar) was formally inaugurated under the patronage and in the presence of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at a special ceremony held at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) yesterday.
UCL Qatar is the first British university in the Education City of Qatar Foundation.
Dignitaries at the event included Prince Andrew, the Duke of York; HE Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA); Prof Sir Malcolm Grant, the provost and president of UCL; HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani, president of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and vice-president of Education at Qatar Foundation; Fathy Saoud, president of Qatar Foundation, and Prof Michael Worton, vice- provost of UCL.
Prince Andrew said the partnership between UCL and Qatar Foundation was a fine example of international collaboration finding the right places and people to work with. “We have made the right choice and I am particularly happy that UCL has come to Qatar as both the nations share the same educational goals,” he said.
“In Qatar, you are investing in youth, something that we believe in. There is commitment from both the UK and Qatar.”
The partnership can be beneficial not only for Qatar but also for UCL, the wider community in the region and the UK, Andrew added.
Announcing the formal inauguration of the university, Grant said UCL Qatar was the fulfillment of an idea.
“It is not a short-term project for us. The foundation of a campus in Qatar fits with the vision of the people who founded the university 187 years ago. It is a partnership that seeks pursuit of excellence and offers joint programmes with the Hamad Bin Khalifa University.”
Grant presented a special memento to HH Sheikha Moza during the programme. The constitution of a UCL Qatar Consultative Committee was also announced at the event in which there are six Qatari nationals.
Sheikha Mayassa said: “UCL is a key strategic partner in terms of building capacity for QMA’s museums and for our work in archaeology and cultural heritage, both through their master’s programmes and through their short course programme. We share the same vision of establishing Qatar first of all as a regional and later as a global leader in cultural heritage, and our partnership work towards this end is extremely productive and enjoyable.”
HBKU president Sheikh Abdulla al-Thani highlighted that UCL Qatar has shown itself to be an enthusiastic partner of Hamad bin Khalifa University.
“UCL has always been a pioneer in higher education and I believe it has much to contribute to our emerging research university. The globally recognised quality of its scholarship in many areas will enrich our collaborative, interdisciplinary model of teaching and research.”
Created in collaboration with Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums Authority, UCL Qatar is a centre of excellence for the study of cultural heritage at postgraduate level. A partner of Hamad bin Khalifa University, the campus draws upon UCL’s academic expertise, with leading academic scholars, teachers and scientists implementing UCL’s unique curriculum and research.
The ceremony brought together UCL staff and students with key stakeholders from the community who played an important role in establishing the UCL Qatar campus. Among the guests were senior representatives from Qatar Foundation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Qatar Museums Authority. A short film highlighting the activities of UCL Qatar was screened during the ceremony.