The Cultivation of Capacity

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  • Published: April 28, 2016
Qatar’s leaders of today have discovered how Hamad bin Khalifa University is forging the nation’s leaders of tomorrow – and how closer connections between academia, government, and industry can build its workforce of the future.

The innovative way in which young talent capable of driving Qatar toward a progressive, prosperous future is being developed by Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has been outlined to public and private sector leaders at an inaugural Community Leaders Forum.
Held at the HBKU Student Center, the Forum underlined the importance of higher education in achieving the nation’s goals and showcased the emerging research university’s development, programs, values, and ambitions to more than 100 senior government officials and industry executives. It aimed to foster cross-sector connections and engagement to elevate Qatar’s human capacity and ensure the sustainability of its knowledge-based transformation.

The Forum also highlighted the need to build a well-trained, high-caliber workforce that meets Qatar’s needs, and for strong relationships between academia and industry, benefiting internships, employment, and research collaborations. Those attending gained an insight into HBKU’s programs and research initiatives, and its commitment to supporting Qatar in realizing its aspirations.

In a keynote address, His Excellency Dr Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, emphasized how HBKU’s status as “a leading educational institution” is reflected through innovative programs that unlock and hone the skills of young Qataris, saying: “One cannot help but notice HBKU’s immense contribution to the four pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, by developing our nation’s most valuable and important resource – namely Qatar’s youth.

“We surely look forward, with great expectations, to HBKU’s continuing role in contributing to Qatar’s ambitious developmental plans.”

The Forum placed in the spotlight the role of HBKU’s interdisciplinary colleges – integrating academic studies with research experience, and addressing national priorities while providing global perspectives – and the cutting-edge work of its research institutes, to an audience including His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman and CEO, Al Faisal Holding Company, and His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Fahad Al Thani, Acting Managing Director, Maersk Oil Qatar.

Attendees also included high-level representatives of leading Qatar-based companies and organizations, alongside Faisal Alsuwaidi, President, Qatar Foundation Research and Development, and representatives of HBKU’s educational partners.

They heard Dr Ahmad Hasnah, President, HBKU, stress the essential nature of “institutional cooperation between the university and the public and private sector”, as he told the Forum: “The University is committed to building a knowledge-based economy, and we believe that the development of the nation requires collaboration and the building of bridges between national institutions.”

In a presentation spanning HBKU’s journey, accomplishments, and purpose, Dr Khaled Letaief, Provost, HBKU, spoke of how it aspires to be “a leading research-intensive university that is globally minded, but with Qatar at its heart”, and – through offering advanced research-focused programs that equip young people to scale 21st Century challenges, and producing innovation that creates national benefit and international impact – “a national resource of knowledge, serving government, industry, and society”.

“We are not simply educating students; we are educating a new generation of leaders,” he said. “This requires a holistic education, where students develop skills such as critical thinking and communication, and a global outlook, and this is what HBKU’s ecosystem of education and research provides.

“Through our specific interdisciplinary programs, the quality of our faculty, researchers, and students, our commitment to excellence, and our belief in building collaboration and engagement, we will achieve our vision, and our dream.”