The event’s agenda includes a special meeting hosted by Prof John Zubizarreta, dean of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia College, as well as Prof Suketu Bhavsar, president of the council, as a keynote speaker.
Prof Dr Abdrabo Soliman, director of the Honours Programme at QU, said the event's timing at the beginning of the academic year sheds light on the advantages of such programmes worldwide, especially with the participation of distinguished keynote speakers from the American association, NCHC, to share the "most important practices and the most important opportunities that students and communities can develop".
The new plan comes within the major development movement that the university is witnessing towards the transformation of higher education in Qatar. It plays a role within QU’s goal towards excellence in education, with the university being known for providing transformational learning experiences based on practical application, scientific research, a competency system, enhancement by digitisation, and the supportive leadership.
The new study plan has been developed to include an Introduction to Honours course, which prepares students for the foundations of learning and teaching academic excellence, and then embarks on a journey with eight units of study provided in a flexible, practical and applied manner such as design thinking, entrepreneurship and leadership in an era of variables as well as professors’ experiences in multidisciplinary scientific research methodologies.
These materials are provided in Arabic and English following the policy of QU and are keen to promote values, identity and conscious openness to the world.
Qatar University offers this programme free of charge to students in addition to linking them with institutions and specialised agencies that provide training opportunities and qualify them for community innovation and development in their societies. Despite the relatively recent launch of the study plan (spring 2021), it witnessed an high turnout of students, and only 100 students were selected from around 600.
A candidate interested in enrolling for the programme requires six semesters remaining until their graduation to be able to join the academic units and benefit from the opportunities offered. Moreover, the student must obtain a grade of 90% or above in high school if s/he is a recent university student, or a grade of 3.3 if s/he has been enrolled before.
The launch of the programme in the spring of 2021 also witnessed partnerships and co-operation with various parties. The Qatar Centre for Career Guidance offers a programme specifically designed for students of the Honors Programme to manage professional awareness and enhance
their financial and professional culture. In addition, there are partnerships with the Innovation Café, Qatari Women’s Association, Talaq Company, Education Centre, Microsoft.