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UCL Qatar welcomes first intake of 32 students

3 September 2012

Following Freshers' Week and a four-day induction programme, UCL Qatar’s first ever intake of 32 students from 13 different countries began the academic session yesterday (Sunday September 2nd). 

Freshers at UCL Qatar

The students are enrolled on the three Master's programmes offered by UCL Qatar: MA Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World, MA Museum and Gallery Practice and MSc Conservation Studies.

Freshers' Week began with a welcome lecture led by UCL Qatar’s academic staff. Following a morning coffee session in which students from each of the degree programmes had a chance to meet and mingle, they spent their time completing their enrolments and undertaking Portico, Moodle and Library induction sessions.

International students became acquainted with Doha through a city tour, braving the intense summer heat, and all students went on a tour of the vast Education City campus.

The Master's courses are the first of their kind in Qatar, as UCL hopes to create a new generation of students who are interested in cultural heritage studies, thus serving Qatar’s Vision 2030

Professor Thilo Rehren, Director of UCL Qatar, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have enrolled our first 32 students. This is well above the target we had set ourselves, and testament to the hard work of our staff and faculty over the last year.

"Our students, who will be with us for one or two years depending on their programme of study, hail from the Americas, through Europe and Asia, and across the Arab World.

"We are particularly pleased that the by far largest group, however, comes from Qatar itself – nearly 30% of all our students are Qatari nationals. This further underlines the thirst of young Qataris to learn and develop the skills they need on the way to a knowledge-based society.

"Qatar’s vision for the country to be a centre of excellence in higher education and in cultural heritage has already inspired a whole generation of young people. UCL Qatar is proud to contribute to the implementation of this vision, and to be helping to shape a new generation of museum professionals, conservators and archaeologists in the Gulf, and beyond."

Brett Kershaw, UCL Qatar’s Marketing Officer, added: "This is a wonderful start for us. To be able to welcome such a diverse, fantastic group of students for our first intake is more than we could have hoped for.

"Our students will benefit from outstanding facilities and an exceptional team of academic staff who really are leaders in their fields. We look forward to continuing to attract the strongest and brightest students from Qatar and abroad to our programmes.

"Our colleagues at UCL Qatar extend our warm thanks to Qatar Foundation, Qatar Museums Authority and our colleagues at UCL in London for unfailing support, encouragement and guidance along the way in order to reach and achieve our shared vision."

What the students say

Ghaida Al-Sawalha, a student on the MA Museum and Gallery Practice degree programme who has relocated to Qatar from Jordan for her studies, said: "As a museum professional, this course will be perfect preparation for me in terms of further developing all of the skills and attributes required to successfully run a new museum.

"To be accepted into one of the world’s leading universities is an honour for anyone. To be in a learning environment that acknowledges, challenges and shapes the contemporary cultural heritage issues of the Arab world is a further incentive."

Erik Demarche, an MSc Conservation Studies student who has relocated to Qatar from Denver, Colorado, said: "I was drawn to study in Qatar due to its emergence as a cultural heritage centre at the cutting edge of learning and education. UCL Qatar’s MSc Conservation Studies programme offers the opportunity to specialise in a range of different materials. I’ll gain practical skills through local and regional work placements, and my studies will have a specific emphasis on this region. I am excited to start."

This article was taken from a longer piece on the UCL Qatar website. Read the full story here.

Page last modified on 03 sep 12 16:24


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