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QF Education leader: University Chiefs Doha Seminar Demonstrates how Qatar is on the Glocal Education Map

Higher education leaders from 22 countries get first-hand experience of QF’s unique ecosystem of learning at IAUP event.

Doha, Qatar, 4 December 2023: Bringing university leaders from around the world to Doha for vital conversations about the future of higher education testifies to Qatar’s growing status as a global education hub – and other nations can learn from what it has built.

That is the view of Francisco Marmolejo, President of Higher Education and Education Adviser, Qatar Foundation (QF), after the organization’s Education City co-hosted with Qatar University (QU) and the University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST) the third edition of the Leadership Development Seminar for New Rectors and Emerging Leaders of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP).

QF, together with Santander Universities, collaborated with IAUP, QU, and UDST for the three-day event, which saw new university presidents and leaders from 22 countries turn the spotlight on topics such as the digital transformation of higher education, internationalization, equality, and inclusion. The seminar was designed to support them in facing current and future challenges and trends in higher education, with experts sharing their experiences and best practices.

Mr. Marmolejo was among those experts, and said:

“The complexities of today’s world pose significant challenges and unique opportunities for universities, which are increasingly in need of bold, professional, flexible, and committed leaders.

“The IAUP’s leadership development program is a premier executive program which, for the first time, has offered in the Gulf region an opportunity to current and emerging higher education leaders from around the world – the opportunity to share perspectives, learn approaches, and gain peer mentorship, as they experienced the unique, innovative higher education landscape of Qatar.

“By hosting higher education leaders at Education City, we have had a unique opportunity to share the success story of Qatar Foundation with participants. Our approach – the array of top-level universities in one place, the development of innovative joint academic offerings, and the variety of initiatives at QF working toward unlocking human potential – are among the key features that current and future university leaders have been able to see first-hand.”

QF’s unique education ecosystem is home to seven international partner universities as well as QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University, 13 schools, research and innovation hubs, and community programs and facilities spanning areas ranging from sports to cultural heritage – all of which are integrated to enhance opportunities for learning and exploration.

And Mr. Marmolejo highlighted its cross-registration system – which allows students at Education City to take courses at different universities on the same campus – and the “connectedness” of QF’s universities and schools, as being among the “distinctive characteristics” of the Education City model that he hoped other education leaders can take inspiration from.

“At the same time, for us, interacting with university leaders from other countries attending the IAUP seminar is an excellent opportunity to learn from other experiences, and to discuss potential collaborative partnerships for the benefit of our students,” he said.

With Qatar University and the University of Doha for Science and Technology also involved in hosting the seminar, Mr. Marmolejo said the event was:

“testament to the collaborative approach higher education institutions have in Qatar, which is becoming internationally known as an innovative higher education hub”.

“At Qatar Foundation, we are committed to supporting innovative and visionary approaches in higher education.

“The fact that we have partnered with IAUP and with other universities in Qatar speaks volumes for our instrumental role in fostering conversations that are needed among leaders who are willing to experiment with new ideas aimed at reshaping higher education across the globe.

“I am sure the story of Qatar Foundation will serve as a tangible reference of what can be achieved when an inspiring vision, committed leadership, and community involvement are in place.”

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