HBKU passes the milestone of 1,000 graduates and celebrates several first cohorts
Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), has celebrated the graduation of its Class of 2020 and 2021, formally conferring degrees on more than 400 students during a virtual ceremony on May 24.
The milestone celebration witnessed HBKU passing the 1,000th graduate mark in the 10th year since its founding. Highlighting its sustained growth over the decade, the distinguished HBKU alumni community has now grown to nearly 1,250.
The pre-recorded ceremony was broadcast for families and friends of the students in different parts of the world, and the wider University community. HBKU and QF leadership, including the deans of the six colleges and faculty, signed on for the celebratory event.
The diverse graduates include more than 130 Qatari citizens, and close to 60% of all graduates are women.
The graduating classes represent 33 academic degree programs, with 110 graduates from the College of Islamic Studies (CIS); 74 from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), 154 from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), 49 from the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), 24 from the College of Law, and 10 from the College of Public Policy (CPP).
With HBKU continuously expanding its academic offerings, the ceremony witnessed 11 ‘first cohorts’. Among those were first graduates in CHLS’ PhD in Genomics and Precision Medicine program; and from CSE’s Master of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management, Master of Data Analytics in Health Management, Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Master of Information Systems in Health Management; as well as CHLS’ Master of Science in Exercise Science. CPP welcomed the first graduates from its Master of Public Policy, the College of Law its first LLM in International Law and Foreign Affairs cohort, while CIS honored its first graduates in the Master of Arts in Applied Islamic Ethics, Master of Arts in Islam and Global Affairs, and Master of Science in Islamic Art, Architecture and Urbanism.
During the virtual ceremony, an inspirational keynote speech was delivered by Roya Mahboob, co-founder and CEO of the Digital Citizen Fund, named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2013 for her work building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan.
The student speaker, Ghoroor Abdulwaheed, graduating from CHSS’ MA in Women, Society and Development, congratulated her peers and thanked faculty for inspiring their imagination throughout an exciting academic journey: “Every graduate at this amazing ceremony has a personal story, motivation, and vision for a better future, each one in the area they have chosen and excelled in - our insistence on drawing the features of a brilliant future for our local communities and the entire world is a common aspect. I deeply believe that our university has instilled in us the principles, values, knowledge, and skills necessary to face this rapidly evolving world, while we are confident of our preparedness to make our impact in various disciplines, and to contribute to the renaissance and development of our countries in various fields.”
In his message to the graduates, Dr. Ahmad M. Hasnah, President of HBKU, said: “Congratulations on your graduation and the effort that you have made in light of this global epidemic. The economic, social and educational challenges that have emerged constitute an important incentive for us to consider our priorities and ability to adapt and be innovative.
“Transforming and developing the world begins with individuals like you. HBKU and its community, including its faculty, has made an effort to support your passion for learning and innovation, and your attainment of the knowledge and personal skills that will enable you to be active citizens supporting the path of development and growth of your communities and your nations. We know you will turn your ideas and knowledge into a reality for us all to be proud of.”
Reminding the new graduates of their role as global citizens, Dr. Michael J. Benedik, HBKU Provost, said: “We are immensely proud of our graduates and the efforts that have gone into this achievement. They will find that the critical thinking skills and interdisciplinary mindset that we nurture at HBKU are in high demand. We hope they will take advantage of their education and use this knowledge for the betterment of our globalized world, and its scientific, social, and economic development. We encourage them to lead through their knowledge and understanding, to act embracing the values HBKU embodies, and to be of service to their communities and countries.”
Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research at HBKU, and the Vice President for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) at QF, called on the graduates to take full advantage of their education: “Our 2020/21 graduates leave HBKU with a research-based education that will open doors for them wherever they go. The world is facing significant transformation and HBKU has prepared these graduates to generate novel approaches that can be applied to solve national and global issues. HBKU’s achievements over the past 10 years have aimed to advance Qatar’s vision of being a knowledge-based economy that is highly competitive in the international arena. Our commitment is to prepare leaders who can address problems of global importance, and we will continue this work, creating an educational environment that can advance discovery and innovation, especially in light of urgent new challenges.”
Dr. Maryam Al-Mannai, Vice President for Student Affairs at HBKU, said: “Rising above the challenges of the past year, our Class of 2020 and 2021 prove that there are no limits except for the limit you set for yourself. We are confident that HBKU has equipped them with the knowledge and skills to envision the future and become innovators with an impact in local and global communities. We welcome our accomplished graduates into the HBKU alumni community and join the wider HBKU family in celebrating a decade of shaping and preparing students who lead and innovate. We are greatly encouraged to see where the future will take HBKU.”
HBKU strives to empower students and engage alumni to develop skills and competencies through diverse, multidisciplinary educational and social learning opportunities. For information, please visit hbku.edu.qa