A total of 111 students from the Class of 2016 of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) graduated at a glittering ceremony held at the Student Centre yesterday.
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of QF were among the dignitaries who witnessed the event.
Other guests at the ceremony included ministers, ambassadors and deans of HBKU’s partner universities.
About 700 people, including the families and friends of the graduates, witnessed the ceremony.
This year’s class has 55% Qataris, an increase from 48% in 2015, and includes representatives from 29 countries. Within HBKU’s graduating class, there are 52 graduates from HBKU’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), 43 from the College of Science and Engineering, and 16 from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Habib Haddad was the guest speaker at the event. Haddad is a tech entrepreneur and most recently founder of Yamli.com and YallaStartup.org. In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognised him as a young global leader and the Arabian Business named him one of the top 30 influential Arabs under 30.
Sheikha Moza, who was one of the graduates last year, commented: “Hamad Bin Khalifa University was launched to create a dynamic new home for innovative research education in Qatar; a place built to push the boundaries of learning in line with the needs of Qatar and its people. The university continues to grow and thrive, and is graduating exceptional students who will have been greatly enriched by the knowledge, skills and friendships that they have developed during their studies.”
“As an alumna of the university myself, I understand the effort, the graduates have put in to achieve a significant milestone and wish them continued success as they apply what they have learned to build bright futures for themselves and their communities,” she added.
Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, president, HBKU, presented diplomas to each of the graduates. He said: “We are an emerging research university that embeds innovation, and an ability to perceive, understand and adapt to the new century’s major needs. These needs are the challenge we take on; we are committed to delivering multidisciplinary research education that is locally relevant and globally recognised.”
This year’s graduates included the inaugural class of the Master of Arts in Audiovisual Translation programme. This new degree trains specialists in translating audiovisual texts, both for foreign-language viewers and sensory impaired audiences, with this year’s graduates focusing much of their research and projects over the past two years on engaging the local community and improving accessibility for the visually impaired in Qatar.
Also graduating was the second batch of students with an Executive Master in Energy and Resources and the third cohort of graduates with a Master of Arts in Translation Studies. A significant number of students from QFIS also participated in the ceremony, graduating from a variety of master’s degree programmes in the fields of Islamic Studies and Islamic Finance.
Sabah al-Heidous, who graduated this year with an MA in Public Policy in Islam, and the student speaker for this year, noted: “I joined this university without hesitation, not only for its academic offering, but also because of the social, cognitive and skill-based experience it offers. As a result, the workforce benefits from the university, which has a major influence in helping to achieve Qatar’s vision.”
All of HBKU’s Class of 2016 studied at the master’s level. More than 300 students have so far graduated from HBKU.
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