QU FOUNDATION PROGRAM: THE FIRST STEP IN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

Qatar University’s (QU) Foundation Program in the Deanship of General Studies aims to prepare students for success in their academic journey by providing them with English and mathematics skills, thereby enabling them to be more qualified in an array of fields and disciplines. Providing students with this essential support gives them the necessary groundwork in order to have an active and effective role in society. The Foundation Program is an important instrument in achieving QU’s 2018-2022 Strategy, which aims to keep up with the changes in time and meet the needs of the labor market and community, by focusing on developing teaching and learning strategies, student experience and community participation.

In line with Qatar’s strategic policy in education, the Foundation Program was restructured in 2012 and limited to only selected colleges with concentrations in science. This includes QU colleges in engineering, pharmacy, health sciences, medicine and education (secondary education with concentrations in sciences only). In addition, the program also serves students in Arabic disciplines in the College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Economics and College of Sharia and Islamic Studies.

The Foundation Program consists of the Department of English, Department of Math and a student affairs office. The academic cadre in the program is considered to have the highest academic and professional qualifications according to international standards. This is to achieve state ambitions in developing innovative teaching skills for the benefit of the students.

New students with scientific concentrations must take a proficiency test which determines if they will enter the first or second level in the course, or if they are exempt from the foundation program altogether. The Foundation Program consists of two levels in English (two courses in basics, two in writing and two in reading) and two courses in mathematics (one course in principles of algebra and one course in pre-calculus).

The program is a kind of general education that provides the groundwork for students who hope to enter scientific related majors. The program offers relevant English courses which helps qualify students to excel in research and academic writing skills. The program also provides English courses for students in postgraduate studies at the College of Education to improve their language skills.

In order to meet the needs of the colleges, the program provides courses with accredited hours for students in Arabic disciplines in order to improve communication and business management skills specifically, which was developed in response to the requirements of the Qatar labor market.

The program is mainly designed to develop learning skills by providing a stimulating environment for students. Modern technologies are used to keep abreast with academic development and to build an effective relationship with the community and future work environment. A number of applications and websites are used as a medium for teaching and communicating with students, such as MyLabsPlus, an e-learning site for mathematics. MyLET, Quizlet, Spelling City, and especially Blackboard are used to manage and organize courses, communicate with students electronically, and monitor their learning efficiency. There are also a wide range of applications that are used to develop scientific outputs, such as Kahoot, Socrative, and Remind. These applications have helped to develop students’ skills and raise their academic achievement significantly.

Source: Qatar University