Ninety-five nursing students earned their undergraduate or graduate nursing degrees at the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ)’s 2019 Convocation ceremony held at Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday.
Professors, family members, dignitaries from Qatar and Canada, and valued partners from Qatar’s health and education sectors celebrated 93 Bachelor of Nursing (BN) and two Master of Nursing (MN) graduates at the convocation.
The ceremony marked the 10th graduating class of BN students and fifth graduating class of MN students. This year’s graduates include 11 Qatari and 77 non-Qatari females along with seven non-Qatari males.
Along with the university’s other alumni, the new cohort of graduates will contribute to the success of the health goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Health Strategy 2018-2022 and will join a sustainable workforce that ensures the complex healthcare needs of the country are met, UCQ has said in a statement.
During the celebrations, UCQ also recognised two graduates with the university’s highest academic distinction, the Gold and Silver medallions. The Gold Medal for academic achievement in the BN programme was awarded to Sharifat Atinuke Makinde, while Joycee Mathew Kurian won the Silver Medal for academic achievement in the Post-Diploma BN programme.
Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Jabor al-Thani, founder and chairman of Qatar Cancer Society, chairman of the University of Calgary in Qatar Board of Trustees, and convocation guest speaker, honoured the graduates’ achievement during his address.
He said, “The need for highly educated and skilled nurses in Qatar is increasing every year. You are entering the nursing profession at an important time for our nation and I know you will meet the challenges of your task. You have embarked on an important journey that will not only change you, but also change Qatar.
“You will become part of the fabric that binds our healthcare system together. You will work to promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. As nurses, you will be the most visible member of the healthcare system.
“The work you will do will have a direct and real impact on the health of Qatar’s population.”
Dignitaries from Canada in attendance included Deborah Yedlin, chancellor of the University of Calgary; Dr Edward McCauley, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary; and Stefanie McCollum, ambassador of Canada. Dr McCauley said, “Great universities create new knowledge with purpose. They develop solutions to difficult challenges.
“And they deliver bold innovations that improve the quality of life for all members of their community. This has been the guiding vision for the University of Calgary in Qatar. We are committed to advancing nursing in Qatar and helping to meet this country’s vital healthcare workforce needs.”
With the completion of the 2019 Convocation ceremony, a total of 651 students have earned their BN degrees from the university while 56 have graduated from the MN programme. Qatari nationals currently make up approximately 16% of the university’s alumni network.
“We focus on providing our students with the skills and abilities they need to be active contributors to the future of the Qatar community’s health and wellness. It is inspiring to see 95 of our students move onto the next phase of their nursing journey,” said Dr Deborah White, dean of UCQ.
“The recognition our graduates receive today is a result of their hard work. We could not be happier as we look to the future of our university.”