Qatar- QU’s Empower Generations Consortium a finalist for Times Higher Education Award

(MENAFN – Gulf Times) The Empower Generation Consortium (EGC) at Qatar University (QU) is one of the finalists for the Times Higher Education (THE) Award Asia in lieu of the category ‘The students’ recruitment campaign of Asia.  
In a press statement, QU said the excellence proposal was submitted among hundreds of entries for the year 2020, including other Asian projects competing for the EGC on the finalist such as those from Independent University in Bangladesh, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), National University of Singapore, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), and Tokyo University of Science. 
‘The consortium’s vision is to enhance the national human capacities in different healthcare specialties.  The consortium is a model for high impact collaborative projects that exhibit the active role of QU in evaluating the market’s occupational demands and developing solutions for capacity shortage, we eventually aim to achieve a national base of human resources in healthcare and life sciences, said Dr Asmaa al-Thani, professor of Virology and founder of EGC, said.
‘The project has a tremendous increase in the health sciences enrollments at QU from 9% in 2013 to 57% in 2019. The most recent data indicate that around 47.4% of the College of Health Sciences and 59.7% of the QU-Health students have been enrolled in this project during their schooling experience. This demonstrates the role of EGC as a powerful platform of attracting students to study health majors, an area that is needed for Qatar and its health sector, he added.
The project was nominated by Dr Abdelbary Elhissi, a Professor in Pharmaceutics and the acting director of Research Planning and Development at the Office of the vice president for Research and Graduate Studies, at QU.
‘THE Award recognises outstanding academic initiatives and capacity building in higher education.  The nominated EGC has shown great potential to compete on the award as a new vision of higher education excellence.  The initiative of QU for recruiting students reflects its commitments towards the society and its leading role in transforming higher education and establishing knowledge economy in Qatar, Dr Abdelbary said.
‘The consortium operates three educational projects: Science Education and Human Health Activities, Qatar Scientists in BioDiversity and Genomics and Precision Medicine. Each project has a competency scheme from 1 to 4. We operate the consortium on the basis of  genuine engagement of high school students with faculty and researchers, providing accessible role models and hands-on training, said Rasha Abu-El-Ruz, team member of the EGC at QU.
David Suter, Special Projects Manager at THE, said: ‘QU’s EGC has been nominated to the finalists among hundreds of excellent entries this year, we ended up with eight projects in each category.
The Empowering Generations has been sponsored formerly by Sidra Medicine and currently by Qatar Biobank and Qatar Genome. The consortium’s history is full of achievements, winning several awards including; the ‘Oscar of Education on the Middle-East, the ‘World’s Gold for the Discipline of ‘Life Sciences and the World’s Silver for the ‘Best University-Employer Partnership in 2019 at QS- Reimagine Education conference in London-UK.

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