Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), has encouraged QF graduates to develop friendships between themselves, and use these friendships to advance innovative ideas and projects, at the organisation’s annual Alumni Forum.
The forum brought together hundreds of alumni from across QF's ecosystem of education – which includes 13 schools, seven international partner universities, and Hamad Bin Khalifa University – to reconnect, share stories and experiences, build networks and express their views of topics such as career pathways and job opportunities.
Organised as part of the QF Alumni Programme, launched in 2022, the forum – held at Multaqa (Education City Student Centre) and also attended by HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, ministers, dignitaries and industry and business leaders – provided an open platform for alumni to explain challenges they face directly to key decision-makers, and discuss solutions for overcoming them.
Speaking at the forum, Her Highness Sheikha Moza told alumni: “The essence of the forum is to maintain the deep ties between QF and its alumni, and its goal is not only to meet, but to discuss your ideas and reflect on what you have achieved in order for us to develop effective ways of implementing what we are looking for.
“Most innovations around the world – especially in the fields of education and health – have stemmed from new ideas that students share. This forum is intended to enhance the relationships between our alumni, and is an opportunity for you to meet your peers, turn relationships into friendships, and then turn these friendships into partnerships and projects. Around the world, we have seen that most initiatives and projects that generate positive impact are connected to students who have been peers, who share their dreams and goals, and who have faith in their abilities.”
At the end of her speech, Her Highness Sheikha Moza emphasised QF’s support for its alumni, announcing the establishment of an alumni startup accelerator fund to provide various forms of support for QF graduates.
Sessions held during the forum allowed alumni to have direct dialogue with government and private sector representatives based around on three themes – nation-building, entrepreneurship and employability – before an open discussion on challenges that alumni face, and solutions that can expand their opportunities to succeed and contribute, in these areas.
“Our alumni are the greatest embodiment of Qatar Foundation’s investment, and belief, in the power of education to allow everyone to define their path, realise their potential and benefit Qatar, the region and the world,” said Francisco Marmolejo, president of Higher Education, QF.
“Whichever school or university they graduate from, they are also part of one community – a local, regional and global community of Qatar Foundation alumni. They have different goals and have embarked on different journeys through life, but their connection to Qatar Foundation is their connection to each other, through the values they exemplify, the mindsets instilled on them, and the contribution they share to driving positive change.
“Our annual Alumni Forum provides them with an opportunity to strengthen existing bonds and make new connections that help them succeed in their careers and lives, and to directly speak with key national stakeholders to identify ways of ensuring their talents can bring the greatest benefit to Qatar’s industry, economy and society – making our alumni catalysts for the advancement of the nation. It reflects how our Alumni Programme is a platform both for connectivity and fostering a sense of proudly belonging to a community of knowledge and ambition, and for generating ideas and impact that can best position our alumni to support the development of Qatar.”
Mohamed Fakhroo, executive director of Institutional Advancement at QF’s Higher Education Division, and an alumnus of Qatar Academy Doha – one of the schools under QF’s Pre-University Education – said: “Coming back together for this forum, as alumni whose lives have been shaped by the education and the experience we received at QF, evokes memories and creates a sense of happiness and community – but it also allows QF’s alumni to lend their voice to vital conversations.
“QF alumni are united in their fondness for the place where they honed their skills, broadened their mindsets, and really began to define the future path they will take; and in their passion for making a difference and contributing to society. Enabling them to speak directly to decision-makers and share their stories, views, ideas, and solutions illustrates how QF’s alumni remain part of its story and its mission, and how QF is committed to supporting both their goals and Qatar’s pool of talent.”
More than 14,000 students have graduated from QF’s schools and universities, and the QF Alumni Program is open to all of them. It aims to be a focal point for creating a global network of QF alumni who retain their links to QF and Qatar and help each other achieve their goals, while encouraging new alumni to remain in Qatar after they graduate and those who have graduated in previous years to return to the country.
Through the QF Alumni App – which all QF graduates can register for – alumni can connect and reconnect with each other, form mutual interest groups, find and apply for jobs, and provide guidance and mentorship to younger graduates. QF alumni have a pivotal role in shaping the program through the QF Alumni Council.
Meanwhile, the QF Alumni Office advocates for policies that help graduates of QF universities contribute to Qatar’s development, and form relationships with public and private sector organisations. In 2022, 241 QF alumni were offered positions in Qatar, and QF has signed a new agreement with the Ministry of Public Health, which is intended to open up further opportunities for its alumni.
The Alumni Forum took place as QF’s three-day Aljam’a festival – which has brought the community of Qatar together to enjoy a range of activities, and showcased the achievements of QF’s alumni and current students – came to a close.
Open to the public, Aljam’a has continued the celebratory mood of QF’s Convocation 2023 ceremony, also held this week, where 874 new graduates of QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University and partner universities took centre stage. Featuring a Market Zone, games, workshops, exhibitions and opportunities to network, Aljam’a aims to strengthen the sense of connection students and alumni feel with QF’s diverse ecosystem and community.
For more details about the QF Alumni Programme, visit www.alumni.qf.org.qa