Qatar University (QU) recently hosted a lecture on ‘Climate issues and continued life-long learning’ delivered by Maria van der Hoeven, former Minister of Education, Culture and Science and former Minister of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, as well as former executive director at the International Energy Agency.
The event was attended by QU chief Strategy and Development officer Dr Darwish al-Emadi and QU officials and students, as well as representatives of Oryx GTL and Gulf Intelligence. It was moderated by QU Gulf Studies Center director Dr Mahjoob Zweiri.
Maria van der Hoeven stressed the importance of being conscious and an agent of change for a better world. She underlined the global awareness of climate change, pointing to the position of the US regarding this issue. However, 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement, she said, adding: “Besides the change at the institutional level, change and open-mindedness at the individual level is also important.” She also highlighted that young people studying in the university should know their role as responsible world citizens besides acquiring knowledge and expertise.
She underlined the role of politics as an instrument of change and the importance of education referring to Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
She noted that during her tenure as Minister of Education, Culture and Science, she put citizenship as part of the curriculum and organised the collaboration between industry and schools. She also noted that science is the starting point of research, development, education and economic growth.
Maria van der Hoeven noted that the huge challenge of this century is to ensure that energy transition happens in a beneficial and sustainable way for our future.
She added, “The 21st century brought us a new reality in terms of climate change. The latter became a global threat in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, temperature rise and the subsequent rise in sea levels.” She also highlighted the necessity of putting more emphasis on technology, as well as the importance of having more renewable energy and more renewable energy production.
On life-long learning, Maria van der Hoeven said: “Life-long learning is not limited to acquiring knowledge. It is to develop our competencies and to act as world citizens in the global community.”
Dr al-Emadi noted, “It is a great opportunity for our students to get a face-to-face meeting with Ms Maria van der Hoeven. The topic of the discussion is extremely important and relevant to QU. On the one hand, the issue of climate issues and the measures to protect our planet is very important because it is the duty of everyone to do so as we all share this beautiful planet. On the other hand, life-long learning attribute is an essential part of our strategy. It is an important component that we try to inject in the learning process throughout the student life cycle at QU.”
On the sidelines of the event, the 2018 class of Oryx GTL Student Award winners were recognised for their contribution to help build a knowledge economy in Qatar. Abdulqader al-Khouzaam, MSc in Environmental Engineering, and Shifa Shaikh, MSc in Environmental Engineering, who are both from Qatar University, were recognised in the Masters category. Khalid al-Khoori, PhD in Sustainable Energy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Dhabia al-Mohannadi, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, were recognised in the top-tier award section of PhD.
The 2018 class of Oryx GTL Student Award winners were recognised for their contribution to help build a knowledge economy in Qatar.
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