On Monday 23rd October, at Alain Ducasse IDAM Restaurant at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, H.E. Dr. Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani, Founder and Chairperson of the Al Faleh Group and Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen co-hosted the Opening Ceremony of AFG College with the University of Aberdeen. The ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.E. Dr. Mohamad Abdelwahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education (MoE&HE) and H.E. Mr. Ajay Sharma, the UK Ambassador to Qatar. Joining the distinguished guests were senior representatives from the University of Aberdeen, in addition to, a number of high profile government officials from the MoE & HE and senior industry figures from a range of Qatari based organisations.
AFG College with the University of Aberdeen recently opened its doors to undergraduate students reading for degrees in Business Management, and Accountancy and Finance.
H.E. Dr Sheikha Aisha noted, “We are proud to partner with the University of Aberdeen and be in a position to offer Qatari Nationals and the wider community the opportunity to study for a prestigious UK degree in the State of Qatar. Students of the College will be afforded the same teaching and learning experience as those students studying at the University’s central campus and will be taught by Aberdeen faculty, and follow the same academic calendar throughout their studies. Moving forward, we plan to extend our degree offerings, to include subject disciplines, such as Engineering, Law and Medicine at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We consider that the partnership between AFG College & the University of Aberdeen is a great achievement as it portrays the State of Qatar’s openness for the further development of higher education provision and the educational enrichment of our youth. We are thankful for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education for their significant support and guidance throughout the development of this partnership.”
Professor Sir Ian Diamond commented, “As an Institution with over 500 years of history we are proud of our past, but we are excited by our future, a key part of which will be our overseas expansion and this partnership is our first overseas campus, a true milestone for the university. We look forward to working with staff and students from Qatar, the wider Gulf region and from around the world, bringing our world class education to the region"
H.E Mr Ajay Sharma also commented “I am delighted to be at the opening of AFG College this evening, to celebrate this collaboration with the University of Aberdeen. British educational institutions are the best in the world and I am pleased to see the strong historic links between the UK and Qatar delivering today a British campus here in Doha. Equipping future generations with high quality British education will not only benefit the students but also the future of UK-Qatar relations."
The event concluded with closing remarks from Professor Richard Wells, Dean of Transnational Education at University of Aberdeen, “We believe we are at the start of a long and fruitful journey for both the University and our partners AFG. The future development of our new campus is the next major milestone towards which we are already working and we look forward to welcoming you all back to an event to celebrate that in 2020.”
Closing the formal proceedings, Dr. Sheikha Aisha Bint Faleh Al Thani presented H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.E. Dr. Mohamad Abdelwahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, and Professor Sir Ian Diamond with commemorative gifts in appreciation for their contribution and support for the development of higher education within the State of Qatar.