University of Aberdeen Principal, Professor George Boyne, has hailed plans for the development of a new purpose-built campus in Qatar as a 'milestone' for the University.
Professor Boyne attended the official launch of the development of the campus yesterday (Thursday, January 24), along with Her Excellency Dr Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh Al Thani, Chairperson and Founder of the Al Faleh Group (AFG) for Education and Academic Services, the University’s partner in the project.
The new campus in Al Daayan, near Doha, represents an anticipated £100m investment by AFG which marks the second phase of its partnership with the University. The first campus opened in Doha in 2017, providing business-related degrees.
At 50,000 square metres, the campus provides ample space for plans to expand the range of programmes offered by the University in Qatar to include STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, medical sciences, law, and politics and international relations.
Over the course of the day Professor Boyne met with students and took part in a student and staff Q&A, where the University’s plans to expand its range of courses were discussed.
The Principal also met with the UK Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Ajay Sharma, where they discussed opportunities for joint academic research within the country.
Speaking afterwards, Professor Boyne said: “I was delighted to attend the official launch of our planned new campus in Qatar, which is another milestone in our successful partnership with the Al Faleh Group under the leadership of Her Excellency Sheikha Aisha Al Thani.
“Throughout its long history the University has taken pride in being open to the world, and our campus in Qatar is testament to our international outlook, which has seen the University export its expertise in teaching and research to new areas and is assisting Qatar in its plans to deliver the highest quality education to its citizens.
“The new campus in Al Daayan builds on the success of the initial phase of our partnership with AFG, which since its launch in 2017 has attracted over 400 students to our existing campus in Doha to study our renowned range of business programmes.
“The next phase of the partnership will open up exciting opportunities to expand our range of degrees to include STEM subjects, medical sciences, law, and politics and international relations.
“This truly is a significant moment in our partnership with AFG, and I look forward to continuing our excellent work together as we create a world-class campus that establishes the University as a leader in transnational education.”
Her Excellency Dr Sheikha Aisha Al Thani added: “The Group’s partnership with Aberdeen University continues to go from strength to strength. Our student numbers are growing beyond expectations and this is matched by ever increasing demand for new academic disciplines.
“The development of our new university campus will compliment His Highness The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s strategic vision to strengthen the provision of quality higher education, which will support a stronger knowledge based economy for the future of Qatar and growth of its peoples.
“We are extremely proud to be associated with such a prestigious university, a university that is ranked within the top 160 in the world and with over 500 hundred years of history and academic excellence. I am committed to help build on this reputation by providing a first class student experience here in Qatar.”
His Excellency Mr Ajay Sharma, UK Ambassador to Qatar, said: “I am delighted that the Aberdeen University campus here in Qatar has been so successful since opening in 2017.
“The academic links and co-operation between Qatar and universities in the United Kingdom are historically strong, but with this development of a purpose built campus opening in Qatar, there will be even greater opportunities for people resident here and from across the world to take advantage of the academic excellence that a world renowned institution such as Aberdeen University has to offer here in Qatar.”