Largest Incoming Cohort Promises to Drive National Economy
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


New Year, New Peer: Largest Incoming Cohort Promises to Drive National Economy

08 Sep 2019

More than 370 new students are set to shape Qatar’s academic, economic, and scientific landscapes in areas deemed critical for self-reliance.

New Year, New Peer: Largest Incoming Cohort Promises to Drive National Economy

HBKU welcomed the new, the returning, and the accomplished in a gateway ceremony to the new academic year.

Andreas Rechkemmer (New Faculty)

A professor and program director for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, which receives its first cohort after HBKU launched the College of Public Policy (CPP) this fall, Rechkemmer is embarking on his first year in Doha: “It is a distinct honor and privilege to join HBKU’s new College of Public Policy as a member of its founding faculty. Public policy is an equally fascinating and crucial field of study and inquiry in today’s world of complexity and interdependence in the public space. Public administration and management, agency service delivery, advanced policy formulation and implementation, foreign and international service and non-profit management, all benefit greatly from evidence-based skill development and practice in areas such as policy analysis, design and evaluation, ethics, economics, statistics or comparative and global studies.

“Our program focuses on interdisciplinary and problem-based approaches and toolsets to effectively address grand challenges such as social, family and health issues, migration, or climate, energy and broader sustainability challenges. We look forward to providing excellence in training for qualified graduate students from Qatar and abroad.”

Steven Wright (Returning Faculty)

Similarly, HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is preparing to welcome the inaugural batch to its PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences program. Dr. Steven Wright, associate dean and associate professor at CHSS, explained that the new PhD program received several applications from highly qualified prospective students which made the selection procedure quite difficult. 

“With a diverse range of topics that the admitted students are seeking to focus on, we are very optimistic that they will innovate, discover, and offer new perspectives on a wide range of contemporary issues. A significant number of our students are bringing valuable professional experience with them and will be engaging on topics that relate specifically to Qatar’s social, political, cultural, and professional needs, and therefore help us achieve our goal of achieving relevant research and education, which is guided by, and aligned to, the needs of Qatar,” Dr. Wright explained. 

“Our aspirations for this semester are that we will draw from expertise not only within Education City, and more broadly within Qatar to enrich our students’ interdisciplinary perspectives, but we will be engaging with a network of leading scholars globally to ensure that the education and research environment that we provide allows our students to have a truly rewarding experience,” Dr. Wright added. 

Damilola Olawuyi (Returning Faculty)

For its part, HBKU College of Law (CL) is rolling out two new programs: the LLM in International Law and Foreign Affairs, and LLM in International Economic and Business Law. Commenting on the significance of these programs, Dr. Damilola S. Olawuyi, associate professor and chair of graduate programs at CL, said: “Our new programs have been carefully designed to empower students with analytical and comparative legal skills needed to understand the diverse legal systems – civil, common and Sharia – that govern complex events and transactions, both in the region and globally. At the end of the program, our students will be ready to become global leaders in various career paths. With world-class faculty of exceptional depth and diversity, HBKU CL is an extraordinary place to study law. The extensive course offerings will allow students to acquire deep specializations in areas that are of great significance for Qatar, the region, and the world. Students will also be encouraged to explore their own research ideas related to their topics that can advance the human development goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030. I cannot imagine a better group of students to launch the LLM programs.”

Jamil Alenbawi (New Student)

Alenbawi, a referral coordinator at Primary Health Care Corporation, has enrolled in the PhD in Genomics and Precision Medicine (GPM) program at the College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS). The program aims to support Qatar’s aim of developing an efficient and personalized medicine and healthcare program for its citizens. 

Reflecting on how his studies at HBKU will shape his professional aspirations, Alenbawi remarks: “This program offers advanced knowledge and training in the field of genomics and precision medicine and will give me the opportunity to explore state-of-the-art basic, clinical, technological, computational, legal and ethical aspects of a fascinating, fast-expanding sector of the life sciences. I am confident it will prepare me to take on leading roles in the healthcare sector and open doors to exciting careers in academia, public service sector and the healthcare industry.”

Gülce Kılınç (Returning Student)

A Master of Arts in Islam and Global Affairs student at the College of Islamic Studies (CIS), spent her summer interning at a strategic research center at the Turkish Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Commenting on the experience, she said: “This internship was a great learning opportunity for me as I participated in lectures delivered by ambassadors who shared their real-life experiences and lessons learned during their assignments. I feel very fortunate to have spent a part of my summer in such a supportive environment as it expanded my knowledge. The internship was also an opportunity to learn more about the regional dynamics of the Middle East and especially Qatar, from active professionals of the ministry. I have always been interested in bilateral and multilateral relations between nations and the important role diplomats play to solve issues of global importance. 

“The experience I gained during this summer has been exceptionally satisfactory and complementary to what will be my last year as an MA student at HBKU. I believe there is a lot to discover and explore our potential to achieve, and how limitlessly capable we are to address our shared challenges and contributing meaningfully to people in need.”

ِAmna Al-Obaidly (New Staff)

Having started her placement at one of HBKU’s research centers, Al-Obaidly says she is no stranger to her new workplace: “I felt most compelled by the building’s vast spaces and architectural beauty. The calligraphy and well-lit vicinities are very visually appealing. I have been fortunate to meet some of the nicest staff members, who helped me settle in quickly at CILE. Part of my duties involves assisting with relevant events, sorting out finances, and offering overall administrative support. As an added bonus, I am starting to learn more about the field of Islamic Studies — an area very close and important to me. Before being a staff member, I have been visiting friends and acquaintances in the building, so I feel attached to this place already in more than one way.”

Younss Aitmou (Returning Staff)

A software engineer at the College of Science and Engineering, Aitmou hopes to see an extended interest in the developmental work he is conducting at the college: “When I first started at the College of Science and Engineering, I was a post-doctoral fellow. Recently, I became a Software Engineer at the College of Science and Engineering. My tasks predominantly involve application development, which includes transforming complex scientific research outcomes to a “Human-Computer Interface” format that everyday users can benefit from. I think this is fast becoming a critical area and I would love to see HBKU’s graduate students become fully engaged in this domain. My hope is for this to be a core function where students can learn all they need to take their professional endeavors to the next level. I think that we are especially fortunate to be able to benefit from excellent research outcomes and highly accessible and sophisticated resources. I believe the college does an excellent job of attracting the best human talent in an environment where no one feels inhibited. We have four applications in progress this year and two of them in a very advanced stage of development. This is an area that will continue to expand in the coming months and years.”