Posted on September 19, 2015

Committed to providing local youth with the necessary knowledge and tools to achieve success, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is sparing no effort in developing the creativity, innovation, and leadership skills of local young men and women. In-line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030) mission of transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy, QF is investing in education in order to develop human, scientific, and research capabilities.

QF recognises that its greatest resource is its people, and it is for this reason that it endeavours to provide the youth with a range of comprehensive academic programmes. Much of QF’s student body is made up of local students, with many members from a family registering in one or more of the prestigious universities in Education City; confident in the quality of the education provided. These institutes, led by Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), have been hand-picked to enable students to enrol in courses that offer a variety of different specialties, and they, therefore, ultimately play an instrumental role in enabling students to excel. 

QF is responsible for many success stories. With students graduating with the relevant skills to contribute to the progress of their country, they are able to promote it both regionally and internationally, as well as give back to the local community. The Hejji siblings are just one example. Eldest daughter Zainab Hejji graduated from Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) in 2012. She immediately joined Qatar Petroleum - Offshore, and now works as a Senior Process Engineer.

Proud of completing her studies at TAMUQ, she said: “What truly sets Texas A&M University at Qatar apart from other academic institutions is its six core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service. The university has successfully installed these ethical codes of conduct through its education and traditions. We were taught to raise the bar and aim for excellence, led by integrity and example, look for ways to serve the community, and to respect those around us.”

The academic institutes at Qatar Foundation are dedicated to providing an integrated learning experience that is not only limited to education, but also provides personal development opportunities. Such experiences are designed to empower the youth, widen their horizons, and prepare them to be active leaders within their local community.

“TAMUQ does not only educate its students to become great engineers,” Zainab emphasised. “The university helps its student to take their first step towards becoming effective leaders by encouraging them to participate in student life activities and community outreach programmes, while engaging with people outside the engineering community. It also encourages students to take ownership, provide guidance to others, and believe in their ability to achieve anything.” 

Zainab also realises the importance of Qatar Foundation to the development of the country, and the fulfilment of the QNV2030. “QF serves the people of Qatar by supporting three main areas – education, science and research and community development. It promotes a culture of excellence and supports an innovative society to develop sustainable human capacity. It is building a knowledge-based economy,” she stated. “It is important to give back to the community. It is essential to apply the knowledge and skills gained at university, to work with passion and objectives in mind, to strengthen the spirit of team work, to communicate effectively and efficiently, in order to serve the country,” she explained.

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Zainab’s brother Hussein Hejji attended Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a partner university of QF. An internationally-recognised university, he graduated from the Business Administration programme in 2013 and is currently employed as a Financial Analyst at Qatar Shell.

QF universities are open to all students in Qatar and the wider communities, and currently over 90 different nationalities are represented. Through cultural diversity, QF has enhanced academic life and created a rich society. “The university is distinguished by its multinational environment, as well as its small classes, which allows the professors to personally identify with the students, explains Hussein. “By enabling students to interact with people from different countries and backgrounds, CMU-Q is teaching young men and women about cultures from around the world, while helping to develop individual personalities.”   

Hussein continued: “The university provides a range of interesting and diverse activities that help when applying to further study programmes. I have been given the opportunity to deal with many companies operating in Qatar, and learn more about the specific needs of the local business market, while, simultaneously, experiencing exciting new opportunities.” Hussein is honoured to be a CMU-Q graduate. “I feel proud to be part of a team that is made up of local graduates, who, by proving their usefulness in the workplace, have contributed to changing the outlook of a huge international company such as such as Shell. Indeed, as a result, the company has gone on to employ additional CMU-Q graduates, as well as former students from other QF affiliated universities,” he concluded.  

Finally, Hussein and Zainab’s youngest sister Zahra is studying at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) and is pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. “Weill Cornell Medical College is preparing me for my future. One day, I hope to be a famous Qatari surgeon,” she explained. “As a top-rated school, it enables medical students to become highly qualified doctors and researchers, which, in turn is helping to achieve Qatar’s National Vision 2030.”

Zahra praised the additional educational opportunities provided by the university, saying: “I have had the chance to experience hospital rotations. I was also given an opportunity to research diabetes and Emergency Room stress. I am very excited for my first clinical research on paediatrics neurosurgery, which I will be undertaking during the summer.” 

Like older sister Zainab, Zahra concluded by saying how she is not only developing professionally, but personally too: “Studying medicine has put me in a continuous roller coaster; one that makes me see the world differently. Through challenges I have faced, I have learnt how to be stronger. Weill Cornell Medical College enables me to see the positive side of everything.  It is not only an academic institute, it is also our second home. I have learnt that hard work always pays off, so I never give up on anything.”

QF’s comprehensive education cycle caters for students from as early as six months all the way up to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidate level, and successfully engages with individuals at every stage of their academic lives. In 20 years, almost 3,300 students have graduated from the different schools and universities at QF. This includes 844 graduates from its eight pre-university academic institutes, as well as over 2,500 students from the universities at Education City, including QF’s flagship institute Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU).

Currently, there are more than 6,000 students enrolled at QF’s academic institutions. These students will eventually join the wider community, and many of these young men and women will play an integral part in the development of their country. Indeed, many of QF’s former students are now working across a variety of public and private sector fields, including oil & gas, engineering, technology, communications, construction, and finance, as well as education and science.

QF’s unique education cycle aims to unlock human potential at every level. By promoting creativity and innovation from an early age, and immersing young people in a culture of research, QF is helping to cultivate a pool of highly-resourceful and knowledgeable Qataris that will drive progress, and help develop ground-breaking solutions to challenges that not only face this country, but the wider region too.