HBKU Alumni Reflect on Transformative Graduate Education

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Alumni Reflect on Transformative Graduate Education Experiences

16 Aug 2021

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Alumni Reflect on Transformative Graduate Education Experiences

With more than 300 students beginning their graduate experience at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) this new academic year, alumni stand as one of the university’s biggest measures of student success over the past decade since its founding.

HBKU’s continuous expansion of its highly distinctive academic offerings and consistent growth has seen the alumni community grow to over 1,250. HBKU graduates are making meaningful economic, social, and cultural contributions in their respective fields across academic and research areas that span public policy, Islamic studies, genomics, international law, digital media, science and engineering, and others. 

HBKU’s research-intensive, interdisciplinary academic programs nurture an entrepreneurial mindset and prepare graduates to shape novel solutions for positive, global impact. 

Dr. Khalid Al-KhoriReflecting on this transformative learning culture, Dr. Khalid Al-Khori, a PhD in Sustainable Energy graduate from HBKU’s College of Engineering and Science (CSE), says: “HBKU gave me the opportunity to pursue a postgraduate degree in a program of my own interest which is related to energy and sustainability. My research focused on the integration of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) into oil and gas processing industries to increase overall efficiency, reduce emissions, enhance cost-effectiveness, and increase domestic innovative technology development and integration. 

“The support and motivation from my academic advisor, college faculty, the dean and my colleagues at CSE had a real contribution to me achieving my goals and obtaining the degree. HBKU is a key player in developing and ensuring that graduates are qualifying with capabilities to be able to implement what they have learned academically in their workplace.”

Dr. Al-Khori’s 20-plus years’ experience in oil and gas, coupled with the PhD, gave him the required knowledge on future needs which are becoming more pressing in today’s technology-driven world. “Knowledge is one of the many critical components that make up modern economies and Qatar is directing a strong policy focus towards its knowledge-based economy as part of its National Vision 2030. It is vital for the talent pool to transition smoothly to the workforce with the right capabilities, and HBKU’s graduate education plays a critical role in supporting this by contributing to human capital development through their courses in innovation, research and technology - boosting Qatar’s international reach and enhancing opportunities for economic growth and development.” 

Through the HBKU Alumni Association, established under the university’s Alumni Office , graduates maintain lifelong connections to the HBKU academic community. The association’s website is a strategic platform for graduates to continue learning from each other, exploring opportunities, and sharing experiences. Current students are assured of the ongoing support of fellow alumni who embody excellence and foster innovation and discovery for the benefit of the individual as well as the wider community. 

Sulaiman T. BahReflecting on the significance of an innovation mindset, Sulaiman T. Bah, a graduate of the MA in Public Policy in Islam program from the College of Islamic Studies, says: “Coming to HBKU introduced me to an academic program that could give me the best of both worlds: the modern tools of public policy with an added perspective of the rich Islamic heritage and scholarly works. HBKU’s tagline is “Innovation Today, Shaping Tomorrow”: Innovation comes as a result of appreciating, mixing, and learning from different perspectives.”

The diversity of the student body and faculty at HBKU enriches learning in different ways, and Bah adds: “With close to 60 different nationalities, imagine the endless possibilities when individuals from various backgrounds learn to negotiate a shared experience by bringing forth their own perspectives to the classroom. My graduate experience was a transformative one which wasn’t just limited to academics, but also contributed to my personal growth and development. As a graduate student, I was able to participate in numerous student service opportunities that were tailor-made for HBKU students locally and overseas. HBKU allowed me to flourish as a global citizen and prepared me for the job market of the future!”

In an effort to both support students and strengthen interaction with its network of talented graduates, the Alumni Association shares job opportunities and internships on a regular basis, to help them accelerate their careers. 

Souad AqeelHBKU programs are developed to be relevant and address local and global challenges, giving students the opportunity to engage in discovery in innovative ways. Souad Aqeel, a Master of Arts (MA) in Digital Humanities and Societies alumna, says: “My experience at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was a unique one. The Digital Humanities and Societies program exposed me to many interesting topics including the emerging trends of technology such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, and how they impact societies and human behavior. The program also enhanced my awareness and understanding of how different groups of people use social media differently, which was really insightful to me.”

Dr. Maryam Al-Mannai, Vice President of Student Affairs at HBKU, concludes: “Our distinguished alumni are HBKU’s most powerful ambassadors, and we are very proud of the significant professional impact they are having across the globe. They will always remain a part of the HBKU family. By maintaining these bonds within a strong alumni network, we hope to encourage their ongoing engagement in the life of the university, especially its mission of lifelong learning and discovery.”

HBKU was founded on the pillars of excellence, innovation, people, and partners, and over the past decade, has been leading in education and research dedicated to solving critical challenges facing Qatar and the world. For more information, please visit hbku.edu.qa