The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) celebrated on Sunday April 28, 2019 the graduation of its third cohort of students in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and other leading figures and guests including ministers, academics, members of the DI faculty and administration and the students’ families.
Held at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha, the ceremony celebrated the graduation of 161 students. Proceedings opened with verses from the Holy Quran, followed by the address of Dr. Yasser Malley, Acting Provost of the DI.
“Today, we celebrate the graduation of the third cohort of students from the DI. We hope that this cohort of young Arab researchers who worked hard to fulfill the mission of the DI through their achievements and field training over a two-year period, are now armed with experience and expertise. We also aspire to involve the students of this cohort, in the development and empowerment of their communities, so as to achieve their home countries’ goals in building knowledge societies based on critical thinking which is embedded in their roots, at a time when science and knowledge are increasingly intertwined”, said Dr. Malley
Dr. Malley stressed how four years of hard work and dedication from the DI faculty and administration, combined with support from a board of trustees equipped with both local and global experience, have helped launch a package of new programs tailored to the region’s needs. These include the Executive Master of Public Administration, launched two years ago, whose second cohort of students graduating on Sunday, many of whom are distinguished regional leaders, constitute an asset for the various development paths taking shape in the Arab world. In parallel, the DI also launched the program of Social Work, Social Psychology and Journalism. “Here we are today reaping the fruits of our efforts by graduating the first cohorts of specialists in these fields who will contribute to the development of their Arab communities with the spirit we wish and expect for them”.
Dr. Malley further praised the fruitful relationship between the DI and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar, as well as the Qatar Fund for Development, which contributes to Arab development by sponsoring DI students hailing from the various countries in the Arab world.
Next, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said: "The economy of the future is a knowledge-based economy. The society of the future is one where science and ethics become the components of a creative force that will lead to a civilizational renaissance.” In developed countries, education, higher education and scientific research, he added, constitute one of the most important modern pillars to achieve a renaissance. It is, he stressed, the main pillar for policy-making, planning and management of comprehensive development, so as to achieve optimal investment in available resources and, through good policies, ensure the welfare of states and enhance their position regionally and internationally. Furthermore, it is one of the most important channels of civilizational openness and interaction between cultures and peoples.
Stressing the important role of education and higher education in differentiating between development and mere economic growth, he continued: “Modern history teaches us that if economic growth is not linked to human development, then it is ephemeral due to vanishing resources. Economic growth does not have real added value, unless society and state institutions advance in order to achieve human development, since the rational and productive human being is the permanent wealth of a nation”.
If the most critical challenge facing scientific institutions in this century, he noted, was preparing individuals capable of acquiring and producing knowledge; then, this knowledge society in turn requires from the various scientific institutions to increase their concern on the role of scientific research and development of knowledge, and to keep up with global development in disciplines currently needed to achieve sustainable development.
He then praised the important role played by Qatar’s academic institutions in expanding to include larger numbers of students, and in upgrading and modernizing the educational, research and training process to stay up-to-date with new discoveries in various disciplines while complying with the best international academic standards. Moreover, he hailed the work of academic institutions, including the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) and the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, and their quest to revive the social sciences and humanities, administrative sciences at the graduate level, and scientific research.
The DI, he continued, provided a unique opportunity for Qatari students to interact positively with their colleagues from all over the region and to offer Arab and non-Arab researchers and students the opportunity to devote their time to study here in Qatar, thus contributing, with the support of both the ACRPS and Doha Institute, to knowledge production and the advancement of the Arab world in general.
Students Rushdi Al Faouri and Abeer Abdul Ghani gave a speech on behalf of the graduates: "Today we stand together, united by the same feelings, in our graduation attire, ready to enter with you a new phase in our lives. We came as students to the Doha Institute to study, and it provided us with an integrated academic environment that opened the horizons of knowledge. We then walked into the path of scientific research and engaged with knowledge, not through dictation and enforcement but through research and endeavor.”
At the end of the ceremony His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education; Dr. Azmi Bishara, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Dr. Yasser Suleiman Malley, Acting President and Provost of the Doha Institute together with the respective Deans of the Schools presented degree certificates to 161 graduates divided among three schools: 69 students from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, 61 students from the School of Public Administration and Development Economics, 16 students from the School of Psychology and Social Work, and 15 students from the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies program.
The ceremony concluded with a photo session of all the graduating students with His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani , the Minister of Education and Higher Education, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, the Acting President and the Deans of the Schools.