NU-Q marks inauguration at Education City
Doha, March 24, 2009
Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) today (March 24) marked its inauguration as it joins five other leading American universities at Qatar Foundation’s Education City.
NU-Q is offering two undergraduate programs in communication and journalism.
The school of communication offers a program in telecommunications, radio, television, film and interactive media technology, while the journalism program, created by the Medill School of Journalism, offers courses for careers in print and broadcast news media through education in both journalism and integrated marketing communications.
Thirty-eight students from Qatar and the region are enrolled in these two programs, both of which are also offered on Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois.
The inaugural ceremony included Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, chairperson of Qatar Foundation, Dr Abdulla Al-Thani, vice president-education for Qatar Foundation, Henry S Bienen, president of Northwestern University, and representatives from Northwestern University’s Evanston and Qatar campuses.
“NU-Q will help build a new media environment which is appropriate to the kind of society we are becoming – one in which citizens are engaged participants,” said Dr Abdulla Al-Thani.
Bienen noted that it was an honour to be part of the process of progressive social change in Qatar.
He said: “A campus here expands Northwestern’s global visibility and gives us a presence in a vital region of the world.”
“It also allows a wealth of cross-fertilization between campuses, broadening the horizons of faculty, staff and students,” he added. “And such a campus offers the opportunity to make a difference not only in the lives of students, but also in the culture of a region.”
John Margolis, dean of NU-Q indicated that during the inaugural year, students have been mentored by nine faculty members, who collectively bring well over a century of professional and academic experience to their work in Qatar.
“Our students will find in the NU-Q faculty a group of scholars and professionals who are committed to providing an extraordinary educational experience,” said the dean.
He stressed the technological advances that are shaping the media environment and driving the need for skilled journalists and media professionals.
“Our graduates will assume leadership roles in the critically important areas of journalism, other communication and media professions, and a variety of additional career options,” he said.
NU-Q partners with media organisations in Qatar to create educational and professional opportunities for its students.
Other partnership initiatives include a US-based Middle East partnership initiative to improve high school journalism, collaboration with Reset DOC (dialogues on civilisations) to bring a forum to Doha in April about the portrayal of women by the media in the West and the Middle East.
In addition, the faculty in the communication program has been involved in a range of research, public events, outreach, and service activities.
NU-Q seeks creative opportunities to enhance the learning of their students through internship programs. Each month, six students participate in the Doha Debates as interns.
Other internship partners include the Doha Centre for Press Freedom, Al Jazeera, the Gulf Times and Oryx Publications.
NU-Q also co-sponsored the Media Connected conference where renowned speakers discussed the future of media. These initiatives seem to be paying off as applications for the second class at NU-Q have risen more than 50 per cent over last year.
“We are very grateful for the warm welcome we have received into Qatar’s educational community and we look forward to many years ahead as we prepare our students to play a leading role in the future of media,” Margolis concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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