Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) recently concluded a certificate program in Higher Education Management, a professional development program that provided participating GU-Q staff members with a comprehensive understanding of the higher education industry worldwide, with a special focus on the unique issues related to higher education in Qatar and the Middle East.
Successful completion of the program gave participants an understanding of major trends in regulations, demographics, employment, technology, and financing affecting the higher education market. Participating students will be able to conduct a competitive analysis of the higher education market at individual institution and national levels.
One of the course instructors, Ms. Amy Levine, explained the concept of the Certificate program, saying: “The professional development focus of this course means that the skills the participants learn over five days in class are highly applied and can immediately be put into practice in their workplace.” Ms. Levine is also the course program director and Director of Programs and Enrollment Management at the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) at the Washington D.C. campus of Georgetown University, where the Certificate in Higher Education was developed.
Lead Instructor for the program, Mr. Ramsey Jabaji, said, “One of the local challenges in Doha is that most of the people who are teaching students or working in a staff environment are not Qatari themselves, so fully understanding Qatari culture and how to adapt teaching practices has been a challenge. They do a good job here at Georgetown, but they are always looking for ways to improve. This course gives the GU-Q staff resources to know what questions to ask, and gives them the tools to critique their own work here.” Mr. Jabaji is also a lecturer at the University of Maryland and Coordinator for International & Leadership Programs at the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.”
The format of the course involved daily lectures, group discussion activities, and applying theory into practice in relation to Qatari issues. The duration of the course work centered around a capstone project where participants were required to design a new program, service, or offering benefiting the community in Qatar. “One thing that’s unique is that we brought in ten outside experts in the field of higher education from all over the world who joined the class remotely through teleconferencing,” explained Mr. Jabaji. “So the class on global perspectives of student affairs featured Dr. Andrew West, the former president of the student affairs association in the UK. He’s also the current Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield in the UK. It’s a real advantage to be hearing from world renowned experts about the unique topics we’re covering in the class,” he added.
The sessions on ‘Voices of Leadership in Higher Education’ also included Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at GU-Q, and Dr. Denny Roberts, Associate Provost at Hamad bin Khalifa University, who provided an historical overview of higher education and the challenges involved, in Qatar.
A total of 42 GU-Q staff members graduated from the intensive course with a Certificate in Higher Education Management. Moamer Qazafi, Director of Communications for the Qatar campus, noted, “This is a brilliant program and it makes sense for anyone joining the ranks of higher education professionals in general and those involved in pedagogy or administration of university education in Qatar to learn from international experts.”