Hamad Bin Khalifa University Holds Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2023

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Holds Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2023

16 May 2023

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani attends a ceremony honoring record number of graduates

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF), and the Chairperson of HBKU’s Board of Trustees, witnessed Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) honor the Class of 2023 in a graduation ceremony celebrating multidisciplinary innovation, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to finding cross-cutting solutions for complex challenges.

The ceremony was attended by HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdulla al-Ghanim along with several government officials, the deans of HBKU’s six colleges, members of the university's staff and faculty, as well as the families and friends of the graduates.

Held at the Qatar National Convention Centre on May 16, the ceremony, which featured College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) alumna Ghoroor Abdelwaheed as master of ceremonies, saw HBKU award degrees to 241 distinguished students. All the graduates completed programs from the university’s six colleges: the College of Islamic Studies (CIS), College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), College of Science and Engineering (CSE), College of Law (CL), College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), and the College of Public Policy (CPP).

The multicultural Class of 2023 represented 41 nationalities and featured 152 female and 89 male graduates, including 59 Qatari graduates - almost 25% of this year’s cohort. This achievement reflects how HBKU’s unique learning environment naturally reinforces Qatar’s strategy to invest in human capital and economic diversification by providing students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a rapidly changing and entrepreneurial environment.

This year’s graduation ceremony also featured the HBKU Excellence Awards, which acknowledge remarkable achievements and excellence by HBKU faculty. H.E. Sheikha Hind presented the awards onstage in three categories: the Research Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding research that has received recognition from the wider academic community; the Teaching Excellence Award, which honors exceptional pedagogy; and the Service Excellence Award, which celebrates exceptional service to the university and its community. 

Dr. Omar Albagha, Professor at CHLS and Acting Executive Director at HBKU's Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and  Dr. Issa M Khalil, Principal Scientist at HBKU's Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) were awarded the Research Excellence Awards. Dr. Yusuf Bicer, Associate Professor at CSE, was honored with the Teaching Excellence Award, and Dr. Amine Bermak, Professor and Associate Dean at CSE, was presented with the Service Excellence Award.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Ahmad M. Hasnah, HBKU President, said: "Science and education are neither separate nor abstract, but rooted in human values. They nevertheless differ in their interpretation of these values and our understanding of our world. Within our culture and religion, science and education are also linked to a divine concept that answers what the human mind cannot. This concept links science, education, and knowledge to the goal of creation, which is the architecture of the universe.”

The keynote speaker, HE Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Despite being a relatively young university, HBKU has already claimed an esteemed reputation among its peers throughout the region and across the world. The university has steadily expanded its program offerings to cover a wide array of disciplines,  providing the Qatari labor market with many skilled graduates in fields critical to national development.”

The student speaker, Fatma Al Taweel, a graduate from the College of Law’s LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs program: "We are privileged to receive academic degrees from Hamad Bin Khalifa University. From its leadership through to teaching and administrative staff, everyone supports the university’s vision to become a pioneer in postgraduate education and research that fosters innovative and impactful solutions for the challenges facing Qatar and the world.”

“HBKU’s integrated, cutting-edge teaching and research environment has nurtured these top-tier students to excel, equipping them with the expertise and skills necessary to empower change and innovation in their communities. The Class of 2023 graduates are ready to embark on new journeys where they will apply their experiences to positively impact Qatar and the world, whether by introducing their own novel technologies or working to advance our understanding in their chosen fields,” said  Dr. Michael Benedik, HBKU Provost.

At the heart of HBKU's institutional commitment to innovation, research and entrepreneurship are its 40 academic programs, which span multiple disciplines and align with five key focus areas: Precision Health, Artificial Intelligence, Progressive Education, Sustainability, and Social Progress.

“These five focus areas are vital to sustaining Qatar’s ever-evolving economy in light of rapid technological advances that are shaping society today. HBKU has dedicated itself to developing multidisciplinary academic programs and national research capabilities that drive collaboration with the world’s best institutions, prepare future leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset, and shape novel solutions for positive local and global impact,” said Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research at HBKU.

The graduates now join HBKU’s illustrious alumni community, whose members are directly involved in building capacities addressing areas of national and global importance in Qatar and beyond. They will enjoy strong support even after their graduation, with the Office of Student Affairs and HBKU Alumni Association recently inaugurating the first annual Alumni Reunion event, launching a platform for the university’s alumni to network and celebrate their achievements together.

“HBKU’s Office of Student Affairs provides the university's student and alumni community with a second home, a central contact point and dedicated team that supports them with a holistic set of services for all questions and needs, be they academic or personal. We invite our graduates to continue staying in touch with the HBKU community and engage at our events including the Alumni Reunion,” said Dr. Maryam Al-Mannai, Vice President for Student Affairs.

The newest HBKU graduates represent a wide range of disciplines, including Applied Islamic Ethics, Islamic Finance, Humanities and Social Sciences, Translation Studies, Computer Science and Engineering, Sustainable Energy, International Law and Foreign Affairs, International Economic and Business Law, Genomics and Precision Medicine, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Public Policy, Social Policy and Program Evaluation, and more.

A member of QF, HBKU strives to empower students and engage alumni to develop skills and competencies through diverse, multidisciplinary educational and social learning opportunities.