Doha, March 13 (QNA) – Qatar University (QU) yesterday launched the “IREG Forum 2017: “Excellence as the University Driving Force”, aimed to provide a platform to discuss the various aspects of academic excellence, and to learn about new initiatives in academic rankings.

The 2-day forum is the first of its kind in the region. It is organized in collaboration with IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (IREG Observatory).

Economic Adviser at Emiri Diwan and Member of QU Board of Regents HE Dr Ibrahim Al Ibrahim said, “First, let me thank Qatar University for hosting this forum. I am particularly grateful that you decided to focus on the quality of higher education in Qatar as it goes right to the core of the tasks we are working on in the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030. In the face of considerable challenges (the economic crisis, changing world demographics, the emergence of new competitors, new technologies and modes of working) Qatari education sector cannot be complacent. Qatar needs to become more outward-looking and more innovative. For Qatar to reach its potential as a society, it must enlarge its pool of talents. Higher education needs to become more inclusive so Qatar is able to draw on the talents of a wider range of people, from all sectors of society and especially groups who have not traditionally taken part in higher education. That in itself represents Qatar University’s first challenge.” He added, “And for Qatar University to provide quality, relevant higher education to more students from diverse backgrounds, it has designed mechanisms to support the students and bridge the gap between the level of education of incoming students and its own levels that are, and have to remain of international standards. On the other side of the spectrum, the university provides opportunities for its current students to engage in more advanced courses and in new forms of teaching and learning such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that are opening up new opportunities in education, and giving the university a chance to reshape the education systems.” He further added, “Qatar University needs to equip students with the entrepreneurial and work-relevant skills they need. The 14 research centers the university created are essential in that endeavor. They propose a new approach to innovation based on structured partnerships between universities, research centers and businesses. Such centers help the country use the potential of higher education to re-energize its society and to organize a genuine mindset change towards a more entrepreneurial culture. The Qatar National Research Fund, established in 2006, is also another source of strength at the national level, helping in that direction. It has a clearly defined vision: “To enable research and development excellence in Qatar in order to achieve a knowledge-based economy”. (MORE)

Source: Qatar News Agency