Qatar Foundation (QF) has brought all higher education institutions in the Education City under one umbrella and formed a new university. Provisionally named the Education City University (ECU), the varsity will be headed by Sheikh Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani, who has been designated as president.
Currently, branches of six US universities are conducting a select range of undergraduate and graduate programmes at Education City. The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies offers diploma and Masters programmes in a number of areas. An agreement was signed some months ago with HEC Paris to provide executive management training in Qatar.
In her address at Senior Convocation 2010, Qatar Foundation Chairperson
H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned underpinned the need to focus on collaborative and complementary activities. “The time has come to commence the execution of an advanced phase of this important national project, since all the elements which will ensure its success are now in place,” a QF statement quoted her as saying
Speaking of his new role, Sheikh Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani said: “We now have at Education City a collection of top academic centres, pursuing their separate missions of learning and teaching, research, and community service. Over the decade, they have made a considerable impact on our society. However, much more can be accomplished by operating as an integrated, multi-disciplinary institution”.
The new entity will seek new ways to deploy the resources for the benefit of the many stakeholders of QF while preserving the distinct identity of each member, he said.
“By doing so, we can deliver high-quality higher educational programs with a focus on research,” he added.
Dr Al Thani assumed the position of Vice President - Education at Qatar Foundation in 2005, helping direct Qatar’s flagship organisation.
As part of his mandate, Dr Al Thani has explored and identified new academic ventures, programmes and research opportunities to be established within Education City. He is at the forefront of Qatar Foundation’s Central Library project which will, when completed, have one of the largest collections in the Middle East.
Prior to joining Qatar Foundation, Dr Al Thani was an assistant professor in Civil Engineering at Qatar University, which he joined in 1993.
He has also worked with the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute, a think tank assisting with public-sector reform in Qatar, where he focused on initiatives to foster quality and innovation at the national level.
He holds a doctoral degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Southampton in England and a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Dr Al Thani served as Convener and Chair of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) held in Doha in November 2009 and attended by participants from 120 nations.
He is a board member of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Qatar University Board of Regents. He also serves on the boards of Nakilat, Qatar’s national LNG shipping company; and the Unesco Institute for Lifelong Learning (Hamburg, Germany); and has been nominated to the World Digital Library’s Executive Council (Library of Congress, Washington, DC).
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