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Wednesday, October 4, 2023 9:34 AM Doha Time

Stenden University Qatar graduates herald new era of excellence
Joyce A. Talabong
/ Categories: In the Media

Stenden University Qatar graduates herald new era of excellence

(MENAFN Press) Stenden University Qatar (SUQ) celebrated the successes of its 70 newly graduated students in an inspiring Graduation ceremony attended by the university's patron Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani and Dutch Ambassador to Qatar HE Yvette Van Eechoud, as the new graduates were urged to unleash their potential to serve Qatar and beyond.

Graduates, family, friends and the university community came together at the Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel on 16th December to congratulate the 44 female and 26 male Class of 2013 students “ 64 of whom graduated in International Business and Management Studies (BA) and six of whom graduated with a Bachelor's degree in International Hospitality Management.

During the ceremony, the university also officially launched its Alumni Association, bringing together its network of accomplished graduates as a cadre of ambassadors for the university and sealing a connection between academia and industry.

As patron of Stenden University Qatar “ the leading professional hospitality, tourism and international business management college in the Gulf region - Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani opened the ceremony, and addressed the graduating students directly. He said: "Your graduation ceremony today, coming just two days before Qatar's National Day celebrations, reminds us all of the great achievements made by our beloved country. There is still a long journey ahead of us but you will all play a crucial role in this. Qatar is relying on you to drive its progress.

"The development of a country cannot happen without knowledge and faith “ faith in God and faith and belief in progress and prosperity. From my own, long experience, the formula for success is simple: have the conviction that knowledge can make change happen. Have patience and endurance, seize opportunities and use your knowledge and experience to make things happen."

In his address, Stenden University Qatar Executive Dean Prof Robert Coelen highlighted the transformation SUQ has undergone in the past year, striving to constantly improve the quality of its academic offering. This has been underlined with the appointment this term of new quality assurance expert Dr Nandini Alinier and leader in international tourism research Prof John Ap, who will expand the university's research capabilities. Prof Coelen added that more new faculty - world-leaders in their disciplines - will soon be appointed. Stenden Qatar underscored its commitment to quality education of world-class standards by introducing international examiners to mark all assessments and through the planned introduction of state-of-the-art technology to assist students' learning, Prof Coelen said. He also thanked Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani for his ongoing support, particularly in finding the university a new campus.

Quality research is a new area of commitment for Stenden Qatar, highlighted in the first QNRF grant award to its faculty. Prof Coelen said: "This is a testimony to our resolve to change from a learning and teaching institution to one that also conducts research. In doing so, we assist Qatar in transitioning from a knowledge consumer to a knowledge producer."

Students' successes this year reflected the university's drive to raise academic standards, with SUQ winning six of the 15 available scholarships from the Qatar Business and Finance Academy to teach students the finer points of finance and business “ twice as many scholarships as any of the other competing universities. A SUQ student was voted most valuable delegate in the recent Georgetown University Model United Nations and another received special commendation.

Addressing the new graduates, Prof Coelen said: "Congratulations to you all on this important day “ the culmination of eight semesters of study, development, collaboration with your colleagues, building your knowledge, honing your skills, developing as a person, acquiring new traits and getting your first university degree.

"You are a group of graduates who will be part of this future. We have prepared you for the real world “ a world in which people from across the world will come to Qatar to do business and spend leisure time. I have every confidence that you are ready to make a significant contribution to this world and I wish you every success."

Wayne Johnson, Head of International Sites at Stenden University, urged the new graduates to fulfil the university's mission and vision “ unleashing potential of students, staff and surrounding communities to serve to make a better world.

Valedictorian student Aysha Al Rumaihi gave thanks to parents, friends, faculty members and staff who supported her fellow graduates through their university years. Talking directly to the graduating students, she said: "We are the business leaders of tomorrow. It is up to us to make the most of the opportunities which will come our way and turn them into successes. We are the ones who will realise the Qatar National Vision 2030. We must preserve our state's culture, heritage and Arabic and Islamic values, while making Qatar a role model regionally and globally. We must instill and develop the spirit of tolerance and constructive dialogue that will help to build Qatar for the future. It down to us."

Following the ceremony, Stenden University Qatar graduate Abdallah Al Ghanim formally launched the university's Alumni Association as a forum for graduates to exchange information and experience, support them in their role as ambassadors for the university and act as a bridge linking academia with business. He highlighted the successes of past Stenden graduates “ 10 of whom have been sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work in Embassies across the world “ and urged the Class of 2013 to use them as role models.

The event closed with the keynote address from Dr Gary Williams (Education Technology Specialist/University of Tasmania) who spoke on the theme of the Fountain Pen and the iPad, encouraging them to succeed through strategic thinking and embracing a range of tools in teaching and learning to achieve their end goal “ from the technology of the iPad to traditional methods such as the fountain pen.

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