As the academic year comes to a close, EBDA, an experience-based leadership development programme is celebrating a hugely successful first year, with almost 300 students completing modules delivered in Qatar, Tanzania, Indonesia and soon in Oman.
Since EBDA’s launch in September 2014, students from thirty nationalities have taken part in nine modules, ranging from team building challenges in Qatar (LeaderShape and the EBDA Desert Challenge), to community service work in Indonesia, to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. EBDA’s fourth and final destination of the year will be Oman in May, where thirty students will embark on challenging outdoor experiences, led by Outward Bound Oman.
Student feedback from the programme has highlighted how they have developed and strengthened key skills, gained greater confidence in their ability to lead and to work effectively with others, and discovered ways to apply their leadership skills in the workplace and at home.
Sheikh Jassim bin Saud Al-Thani, Head of Qatarization at Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “We are delighted with the success of the first year of EBDA and we hope that all students who took part have come away with a greater understanding of what leadership is and how to improve as leaders. At Maersk Oil Qatar, we are committed to assisting young people to become leaders, who will in turn contribute to the ongoing growth and development of the State of Qatar in the future. With Qatar growing at such a vast rate, new opportunities are developing quickly and we need extraordinary leaders to be able to fill these roles. I look forward to another successful programme of events in the coming year.”
EBDA, meaning start in Arabic, is a tailor-made programme sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar and aimed at university students in Qatar. EBDA is unique in its approach; its courses are designed to take students out of the academic classroom environment to help them gain personal skills through the experience of managing themselves, working with others and developing their leadership capabilities.
Commenting on EBDA’s success, Ameena Hussain, Director of Student Life, Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) - one of the key partners in delivering the programme, said: “What a successful first year! From working in villages in Indonesia to climbing mountains in Tanzania. I am extremely proud of all our bright and talented students that participated in these adventures to gain vital skills needed to develop into Qatar’s finest future leaders. In today’s global market, employers are constantly seeking graduates that are team-oriented, self-motivated and effective communicators, all skills of which can be gained from participating in EBDA’s challenges.”She added: “This programme would not be possible without the help of our university partners in Education City and our partner Maersk Oil Qatar, so I would like to extend a huge thank you to them for all their support in making EBDA such a huge success.“EBDA has gone from strength to strength since its launch. In January, 59 students from HBKU’s partner universities completed a six-day programme to test their leadership skills. Called LeaderShape, the programme engaged students in a team challenge, where problem solving and trust were needed to successfully overcome a situation of chaos and change.
During the Spring Break period of 2015, 24 students from Education City took part in a community service learning trip to Indonesia for ten days as part of Not Your Average Spring Break (NYASB) under the support of Reach Out to Asia. Working with students by day and the local community centre by night, the students from Qatar were given a chance to unlock their personal potential and learn unforgettable lessons in leadership as well as the importance of effective team work. In the first week of March 2015, ten brave and resilient Education City students successfully scaled the summit of one of the world’s highest mountain peaks, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. During this seven-day climb – known as WALK (We Are Leaders @ Kilimanjaro), students developed perseverance, adaptability and leadership skills under extreme weather and physical conditions.
To celebrate EBDA’s success, an awards ceremony will be held on April 15 that HBKU’s Student Centre to highlight these extraordinary achievements and to reward students who have dedicated their time to these programmes. The ceremony will be attended by leaders from Maersk Oil Qatar and HBKU.
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