Posted on April 02, 2014

Stenden University Qatar (SUQ)’s pioneering use of the latest technology to transform its classrooms and introduce progressive, new study and research methods is highlighted with the new appointment of e-learning and technology expert Dr Gary Williams as Head of Teaching and Learning.

As Qatar’s only professional hospitality, tourism and international business management college, SUQ has introduced a number of new digital initiatives which will help drive Qatar’s development towards a knowledge-based economy and also support the dynamic new Qatar National Tourism Strategy. 

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The university is initiating the use of the leading edge technology to all its classrooms, and students, faculty and staff will be trained on how best to use the new ICT devices and systems to boost their learning and research potential. Meanwhile, faculty and staff will also benefit from new methods of training and research support as well as the latest technology toolkits.

Dr Williams will spearhead these developments bringing with him 17 years’ experience in integrating state-of-the-art technology to all aspects of continuous development and learning. Stenden’s aim is to introduce active, multi-disciplinary learning to foster a spirit of innovation in his students.  An expert in progressive adult education, Dr Williams joins SUQ from the University of Tasmania in Australia (UTAS), where he held numerous positions - latterly as Senior Lecturer in the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching. Among his achievements was being a lead author on the University’s strategic white paper entitled  ‘Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching at UTAS: 2014-18’, while also being responsible for spotting key emerging trends in technology-enhanced learning and teaching.
Dr Williams’ has written numerous academic papers and presented at conferences on the use of technology in colleges, having pioneered new technology for the classroom, such as web conferencing and podcasting when they were first developed. He is also author of the ‘Handbook for Distance Learning in Tourism.’

Stenden University Qatar Executive Dean Professor Robert Coelen, welcomed Dr Williams, saying: “We are delighted to have Gary Williams join our dynamic and driven team of experts who are committed to establishing SUQ as a regional centre of excellence in hospitality and tourism studies and high-quality research. Dr Williams’ inspiring technology teaching methods complement our Problem-Based Learning ethos, which develops students’ self-esteem and confidence and encourages constructive peer criticism. The integrated use of technology across SUQ, combined with Dr Williams’ expert guidance and new e-learning initiatives, will ensure SUQ provides the most up to date, relevant and progressive teaching and research methods of any university in the region.”

Dr Gary Williams said: “This is an exciting time to be joining Stenden University Qatar, as it aims to transform not only its classrooms but also to expand students’ horizons with new technology. Stenden will simultaneously develop new e-learning initiatives to the wider Qatar society. I am looking forward to working with both students and staff to help them combine the latest technology with other learning methods to ensure they are at the cutting edge of higher education, reflecting Stenden’s focus on this key aspect of learning in today’s world.”