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Update on Northwestern University in Qatar

November 1, 2007 | by Alan K. Cubbage

Doha --- Qatar Foundation and Northwestern University have released further details of the journalism and communication degree programs to be launched in 2008 at the university's new branch campus at Qatar Foundation's Education City, on the outskirts of Qatar's capital, Doha.

Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism will offer a program in journalism, media and integrated marketing communications. The university's School of Communication will offer a program in media industries and technologies. In addition, Northwestern plans to offer a pre-college preparatory program.

The two programs are the first undergraduate degrees offered by Northwestern away from its main campus and approximately 40 students are expected to enroll in the programs in the first year. Admission requirements to the programs at Education City are the same as at the parent institution, and the degree awarded upon graduation is identical to that earned at the home campus.

Medill's journalism program will teach students how to source and write stories and report and edit across all of the print and digital media platforms. It will also explore journalism ethics, law, and professional practices and instruct students about how to understand and connect with media audiences.

Students on the Medill program will spend one academic quarter away from the Doha campus. This component of the program may either be spent in a Northwestern newsroom, or with a professional media company in the US or the Middle East.

"There are sweeping changes occurring in the fields of journalism, and Medill is committed to helping our students and their prospective news and media employers in Qatar and the region create a freer press and informed citizens," said John Lavine, Medill's dean. "Also, a key component of the changes impacting the media is the increasing global nature of journalism. As a result, we are particularly interested in establishing our first international campus in Doha, which is a hub of news and information for the Middle East."

Doha, Qatar is the home of the Al-Jazeera Network, which includes the leading Arabic-language news channel and the newly launched English-language news channel.

The School of Communication's new program in media industries and technology will enable students to develop intellectual and communication skills and study, in depth, communication industries and associated technologies.

The School of Communication's program will also offer a cinema and television strand, which will include courses in screenwriting, editing, lighting, cinematography and directing, as well as the history of film and broadcasting. In addition, a computer-mediated communication curriculum will offer courses in designing for the Internet, interactive media and computer animation, as well as options to study online communities and the Internet and society. Each student in the program will be required to complete an internship in an appropriate field and write a senior thesis.

"The School of Communication's innovative new curriculum in Education City will prepare students to succeed as creators and executives in all the entertainment industries, from film to radio and television to interactive and web-based media," said Barbara O'Keefe, dean of the school.

"Northwestern will bring an exciting new element to the range of world-class institutions and programs at Education City," said Qatar Foundation Vice-President - Education Dr Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani. "It is absolutely consistent with our country's social development that we should produce our own journalists and communication specialists, and Northwestern is one of the very best partners we could have for this. I am also confident it will contribute to the evolution of the unique Education City model of higher education, where programs from the best institutions have been brought together in one place. While preserving their academic and administrative autonomy, the branch campuses are growing together and with other institutions in the country to form a coherent entity that is world-class and international, yet distinctly Qatari."

About Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, Qatar Foundation is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare the people of Qatar and the region to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned is the chairperson of Qatar Foundation.

Qatar Foundation is the driving force behind Education City, a center for educational excellence in the region, where world-renowned universities share research and educate students in fields of critical importance to the GCC region.

Located on the outskirts of Doha, Qatar, Education City covers 14 million square meters and is home to a range of education and research institutions such as Qatar National Research Fund, whose goal is to establish a research culture in Qatar.

Five leading international universities have branch campuses at Education City: Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; Texas A&M University at Qatar; Carnegie Mellon University Qatar and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Graduate programs are offered by the Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Qatar Foundation is committed to community development and operates a range of centers for local and regional outreach. Qatar Foundation has also branched into broadcast, with the Doha Debates, Al-Jazeera Children's Channel and local youth discussion program, Lakom Al Karar (meaning 'the decision is yours').

The latest projects of Qatar Foundation include the Qatar Science and Technology Park, a research zone committed to the development of regional entrepreneurs and young innovators and Sidra Medical and Research Center, which will offer medical care and training in conjunction with biomedical research.

For more information, go to http://www.qf.org.qa/

Topics: University News