The president of Qatar University (QU) Dr Hassan bin Rashid al-Derham has said that the National Day of Qatar, celebrated on Dec 18, is a precious occasion to recall the glorious historical stages of the country's history and its great men who have written glories that the people of the country are proud of, generation after generation, and an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and comprehensive development that the country is witnessing today led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The QU president said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the occasion of the celebrations of the National Day, that this day is an occasion in which the Qatari people remember the efforts made by Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani to lay the foundation of the modern state, and to consolidate the values of unity and belonging to this land, to be a starting point to build a modern state, under which the aspirations and hopes of the Qatari people for progress, construction and progress are fulfilled.
He stressed that this occasion also constitutes an opportunity to recall historical moments in which Qatar managed to thrive and achieve its hopes, consolidate its identity, and promote the values, ideals, hopes and aspirations that unite the people of this country.
He also stressed that Qatar has become today a model for the young state, committed to comprehensive growth and development in accordance with an ambitious national vision and clear strategies that guide all sectors of the state so that it is a source of pride for everyone who belongs to the generous nation.
He noted that Qatar, with its wise leadership, has demonstrated sophistication and wisdom in transforming all current challenges into great opportunities and achievements.
Al-Derham said that thanks to the wise leadership, Qatar was able to deal with all challenges, and indeed it provided a model for the world in patience, persistence and defying difficulties, as it was able to transform these challenges into opportunities and achievements, which has made Qatar a global model, as all plans and strategies were not affected by the challenges, and the state continued its strong growth and achievements in all fields.
In his statement, the president of Qatar University reviewed the most prominent achievements of the university in light of its plans for implementing the National Development Strategy 2018-2022.
Al-Derham said Qatar University realised during the previous years significant achievements that enabled it to implement a comprehensive administrative,academic reform and development project, as it managed to achieve international academic accreditation for most of its programmes, and moved from being a university centreed on teaching and learning for the first university level, to a comprehensive university concerned with teaching, research and community service, and postgraduate studies, as well as its amazing progress in international rankings in recent years.
Al-Derham affirmed the university's keenness on the consistency of its programmes with the main national priorities being in education, focusing on building national capacities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as enhancing access to education for all Qatari citizens.
He said that the university has completed the development of the main framework, which are considered one of the strategic foundations for making the transition and the transformation process in teaching and learning.
He added that the flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes is one of the factors of distinction in the teaching and learning strategy within the strategy of Qatar University 2022, indicating that the university has sought to increase the flexibility of educational and training opportunities through online courses and programs, as well as educational models that mix the Internet and the classroom, through the development and introduction of some courses designed specifically for this type of education according to the latest international standards.
Dr al-Derham stated that the university is now working to provide a new generation of academic certificates and degrees that depend on the competency framework of Qatar University, with a flexible and diverse set of majors and study tracks to provide different groups in society with various opportunities for higher education.
In the field of scientific research, he pointed out that Qatar University has shown an increase in its research productivity according to national standards and some other comparative measures of performance, with research production being distinguished by diversity and not being limited to specialisation.
He announced that the university has completed the development of a comprehensive research priorities plan, detailing its implementation mechanisms, in co-operation with the academic units at the university, so that it is in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and responds to the major economic and social challenges facing the state.
Al-Derham also added that the university is working on a number of strategic initiatives that would achieve excellence in scientific research, by focusing on making the scientific research process an essential part of the students' learning process.
The president of Qatar University revealed that the univerity's research sector is working on establishing distinct research platforms, which will be announced soon.
These platforms are concerned with specific trends that are consistent with research priorities and are based on Qatar University's research capabilities.
He pointed out that the university has also worked during the last period on reviewing and developing policies and guidelines for research, graduate studies and developing a number of specialised programs, for example (Covid-19 research) and inter-programmes, as well as focusing on developing the research funding process.
He emphasised that Qatar University had succeeded in being the preferred option in education for many high school graduates, adding that that 60% of high school graduates prefer to join Qatar University, according to the results of Spring 2020 survey.
Regarding Qatar University's efforts to confront the coronavirus crisis this year, he explained that the university had a sound and efficient plan in accordance with the general strategy approved by the state to deal with the pandemic.
He said that the university sought to mitigate the effects of the disaster in accordance with the best possible ways to continue its work in the fields of teaching, scientific research, student life and human resources, as it moved to apply remote education methods through various electronic platforms, and adopted the best international practices to evaluate students to ensure the smooth flow of the educational process at the university and to preserve standards.
The president of Qatar University pointed out that the pandemic did not affect the university's endeavour to raise its annual ranking as one of the best universities at the global and regional level, as it ranked among the most important 350 international universities, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for the year 2021, achieving progress by 90 rankings.
From last year's edition of the same classification, the results showed that the university jumped to between 301-350.
He also pointed out that the university has achieved 52nd place in The Times Higher Education (THE) ranking of universities in the Asian continent for the year 2020, for the third year in a row, taking into account the significant increase in the number of competing universities, which amounted to nearly 500 universities. He added that QU has also ranked 601-700 in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities for the Year 2020 (ARWU), announced on Aug 15 by the Shanghai Ranking.