Doha, September 23 (QNA) – Qatar University (QU) President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad has said that the university now has over 12,000 students in its ranks with some 4000 students joining this academic year.
Addressing a press briefing to outline changes, developments, progress and plans at QU for the academic year and beyond, Prof Al Misnad said this number is complemented by an additional 12 new undergraduate programs, a total of 24 Masters and 3 PhD programs, and an increased faculty body.
In conjunction with its expanded student population, the university has further advanced its infrastructure and facilities for new and current students with a program of construction projects including the opening of the new library and new Colleges of Law and Business in 2011, and forthcoming College of Pharmacy and College of Engineering (2016), Research Complex (2013) and on-campus student accommodation (2014). Additionally, new parking facilities have been created and provision of the intra-campus shuttle bus has been expanded to accommodate the male campus.
Our direction is student-focussed, Dr Al Misnad said, adding that QU has also upgraded its academic support services for students through a strengthened academic advising program, establishment of a student Helpdesk, and improved Learning Support Centers. “According to an annual student satisfaction survey, student satisfaction jumped from 66% to 76% over 2 years, recording a 10% increase”, she said.
Addressing the subject of the language of instruction, Prof Al Misnad said that QU is committed to improving the skills of students in Arabic and English to prepare them to meet market needs in all sectors. She pointed out that Arabic is the language of instruction in Business, Law, Media, and International Affairs and others, and that QU has ensured that sufficient English courses are integrated into curricula to ensure our graduates are competent in both languages in a way that responds to labor market needs.
She highlighted QU s commitment to building on past improvements to ensure the university continues to provide students with a world-class education. In 6 years, QU saw a 47% improvement in student average GPA with 2.8 in 2011 up from 1.9 in 2005, she said, adding that student GPA of 3.5 and upwards multiplied 4 times, and that the number of students taking more than 5 years to graduate decreased from 21% to 12%.
On the issue of Qatarisation, Prof Al Misnad highlighted that Qatari faculty now make up 40 percent of the academic faculty, a figure up by 21 percent from last year. Through the National Capacity Building Program, QU supports professional development initiatives for Qatari academics to bolster their existing skills and competencies, she said.
Additionally, a scholarship program at QU for nationals enables them to undertake their graduate studies at some of the best universities in the world, returning to the university as faculty or to join the various sectors in Qatar as leaders in their field. Some 52 are expected to return to QU in the near future as faculty in various majors. 13 additional students were recruited to the program recently.
In concluding, QU President reiterated the university s commitment to addressing students needs and concerns. She further noted that along with these considerations, QU continues to advance its responsibility to take a leading role in the growth and development of Qatar in support of the National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016. (QNA)