By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is looking for expansion in a big way on all fronts, said the dean of the University yesterday. He was speaking at the launch of the university’s new programme in International History.
Gerd Nonneman said that the new degree programme was part of the expansion drive of the university. “We are embarking on an expansion programme on three fronts. We are planning for more programmes, more students and more faculty members. We have launched a number of graduate and undergraduate programmes, recently recruited around 15 faculty members and there will be around 300 students in the campus by next year,” he added.
First of its kind in the region, the new major in International History provides scope for students to pursue studies through GU-Q’s innovative and hands- on teaching methodology. It also strengthens the university’s student-focused research through the regional and global orientation.
Nonneman said that the GU-Q campus in Qatar is the biggest one outside the United States. “This is the biggest campus for us outside the United States. We have some outposts in some other countries but they are not very big. We have no plans to establish any other campus in the region or in Asia. But we are looking for collaboration with other universities as well as professors for research and other academic activities.”
Nonneman also said that the university offers joint programmes with other universities in Education City. “We are partnering with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) for a master’s programme in energy studies which will be launched in a very short time. We also run a joint programme with Northwestern University in Qatar,” he said, adding that GU-Q was established in the country as both Qatar Foundation and Georgetown shared similar vision and goals.
The official observed that the new programme is something that suits for Qatar and the region.
“This is a very suitable programme for the students from Qatar and the region. The programme presents the first opportunity for regional university students to pursue this type of degree. Moreover, the GU-Q’s teaching methodology is also an innovation for students of history in the region,” he added.
During the event, the faculty members for the programme were introduced. Several faculty members have joined the university to teach the new programme from internationally recognised universities, including Harvard, Georgetown University in Washington DC, the University of Toronto and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
“We now have an African historian, another Middle East historian, a specialist on Islam in South Asia, and someone whose focus is on China, to list just a few,” said Professor Karine Walther, who teaches history and is also the faculty chair for International History at GU-Q.
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