The first cohort of students have graduated at the University of Aberdeen's Qatar campus.
AFG College with the University of Aberdeen held their first graduation ceremony on the 4 November 2019 in Doha to celebrate the achievements of those students who successfully completed their programmes of study in Qatar.
The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister & Minister of Interior H.E Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, H.E Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahed Ali Al-Hammadi, United Kingdom Ambassador to the State of Qatar H.E Ajay Sharma, as well as a number of Their Excellences, Sheikhs and Ministers, along with dignitaries from the University of Aberdeen, AFG faculty, parents of graduates and distinguished guests.
The celebration was held in recognition of those students who had completed their studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The graduating cohort included 51 Qataris with a further 20 nationalities being represented.
Officiating the ceremony was the University of Aberdeen Principal & Vice Chancellor Professor George Boyne who said: “I am delighted that we are holding the first University of Aberdeen graduation ceremony in Doha to celebrate the achievements of our inaugural cohort of students who will receive degrees from the institution. It will be a very exciting occasion for them as well as their families who will join us for the event.
“A number of leading University of Aberdeen academics and professional services staff attended the ceremony alongside colleagues from our partner organisation AFG College, and we were also joined by the British Ambassador to Qatar, Ajay Sharma, and the Qatari Prime Minister, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
"We are very proud to be the first UK University to operate on a dedicated campus in Qatar with our partners. Exciting plans are in place to develop a new campus in Doha which will offer University of Aberdeen degrees across a range of academic disciplines.”
In addition to celebrating the hard work and dedication of those graduating students, the University of Aberdeen awarded AFG Chairperson and Founder, H.E Dr Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh Al Thani the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. The award was bestowed on Sheikha Aihsa by the University of Aberdeen Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor George Boyne, in recognition of her services to education and philanthropy.
In her acceptance speech Sheikha Aisha congratulated all those who were celebrating their achievement and who will now join the long list of illustrious alumni to have graduated from the University. Dr Sheikha Aisha said that the fresh graduates were now embarking on their own personal journeys, having been prepared by the University of Aberdeen for the many opportunities that lay ahead of them. Sheikha Aisha concluded her speech by urging the graduates to be a force for good and to explore and push their limits in order to contribute positively to their community, their country and to the wider world.
Graduating student Jassim bin Mohammed Al Misned made an emotional and uplifting speech at the conclusion of the ceremony in which he congratulated his fellow students, thanked members of staff and recognized the key role that the University continues to play in helping to fulfil one of the pillars of the Qatar 2030 Vision, that of building a greater knowledge base and of extending the skills base of people in Qatar.