The Business Year

Change is afoot in the education sector across all levels and areas.

Dr. Nils Plambeck

CEO & Dean, HEC Paris

We were invited by the Qatar Foundation to become its first European partner and to become the first member to join the Qatar Foundation Management and Research Center. HEC Paris has two degree programs that contribute to the development of the country in terms of Qatarization, complying with the country’s development pillars and educating future leaders. Among our graduates is the CEO of Qatar Foundation itself. Partnering with Qatar Foundation was a great opportunity for both HEC Paris and Qatar. We feel honored to contribute to the sustained development of Qatar. Of our 252 graduates, 185 are Qatari nationals, and, of this year’s intake so far, 90% is self-funded. There has been a shift from being sponsored to being self-financing. There is an understanding that HEC Paris is not only about career advancement, but also about personal development. We are not a business or a company, but an institution that helps people grow and develop. At the same time, we have worked closely with companies to train their employees and managers.

Emad Al Khaja


In the past three to five years, entrepreneurship has become a buzzword. Five years ago, the Qatari SME sector was below the regional average by almost 20%, but is now growing quickly. We focus on a younger cohort of Qataris and embed these ideas in their mindsets. Entrepreneurship is often unknown as a concept amongst students, or they have many misconceptions. The key, though, is starting this process as early as possible. We now start from elementary school and embed these entrepreneurial ideas in students of six and seven. We start at a young age, and the education continues to develop until the student is old enough to transform that idea into an actual business. This is when we seek the help of different partners like the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), or the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), which are all part of this process. They have created a system out of scratch to develop and support entrepreneurs, and over the last five years things have changed dramatically here.

Sheikha Noof Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani

Executive Director, Sheikha Noof Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani

There are seven schools under the Qatar Foundation’s umbrella, and in 2013, we saw a need for a professional development center for its teachers. However, we subsequently realized we needed to be open to all schools in Qatar. We started cooperating with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, which has its own professional development center. We started a pilot this year with 65 teachers, and in 2018 we will run programs on a regular basis. Those programs are based on 10-hour module ranging from teaching and learning English, mathematics, and early childhood. For the Arabic module, we use certified trainers from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. There are almost 14,000 teachers in Qatar, and our objective is to train more than 1,000 teachers per annum in these specific areas. We aim to create a collaborative framework where the teaching community discusses innovative ideas, applies them in the classroom, and comes back to analyze the results. We often invite speakers and trainers to discuss innovative learning methods with schools.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Horr

CEO, Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA)

QFBA is the education arm of Qatar’s financial sector. Our main purpose is to invest in human capital, one of the most important pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. In the manufacturing industry, the equipment is the asset; and in the real estate sector, the land and property are the assets. However, in the financial industry intellectual people are the assets. Therefore, we are investing in people with a focus on the financial sector. We are raising the capability of those who are working in the industry, thereby improving the internal capacity of the financial institutions in Qatar. We offer training, coaching, certifications, as well as consultations to the industry and people operating on it.



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