University College London to join Education City

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University College London to join Education City

London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Thursday, October 28, 2010

• Qatar Foundation and University College London conclude a partnership agreement
• UCL –Qatar to offer master’s degrees in Museum Studies, Conservation and Archaeology
• Agreement is in cooperation with Qatar Museums Authority in effort to provide skills needed to curate and manage planned series of museums

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community development today witnessed the signing of a three-way partnership between Qatar Foundation, University College London (UCL) and Qatar Museums Authority, for UCL to offer its master’s degrees in the areas of museum studies, conservation and archaeology at Education City in Doha. UCL joins the ranks of seven hand-selected international universities at Education City offering their top programs to the region’s youth, unlocking their potential to become future leaders of a post-carbon economy. The partnership agreement was signed at the Royal Society by His Excellency Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani, Vice President for Education of Qatar Foundation, and Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL provost.

In commenting on the new partnership, Dr. Al-Thani said, “University College London has consistently been ranked among the world's greatest universities, and its achievements in the fields of Archaeology and Museum Studies have been particularly striking. I know UCL will add greatly to the intellectual and cultural life of Qatar. It is a significant milestone in the history of Qatar Foundation that a British university is to establish a campus at Education City.”

Qatar has an ambitious growth strategy in the museums sector with numerous museums due to open in Qatar in the next 10 years providing graduates from UCL Qatar with long term job and research opportunities.

UCL Qatar will provide professional training courses beginning in spring 2011 for the staff of Qatar Museums Authority, enabling Qatar to become a regional centre of excellence in museum practices at all levels. Two-year master’s programs in Museums and Conservation practice and in Arab and Islamic Archaeology will be on offer starting 2012. Courses include research projects based on early iron in Sudan and Bronze Age Egyptian glass. These will be two of the many class options available to students. In the next five years, the goal is to have 145 local and international students matriculating on campus.

“I am delighted that one of our world class universities can play a leading role in supporting the tremendous cultural drive being led by Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa,” said David Willets, UK Secretary of State for Universities and Science. “I know that as Qatar develops its exciting plans for further new museums, UCL will, through professional training, partnerships with local universities and schools, research programmes and an archaeological fieldwork unit provide a ready source of expertise and experience to help make these projects globally renowned”.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority welcomed the partnership saying, “Our agreement among University College London and Qatar Foundation today is an important milestone in our mission to develop cultural institutions of excellence in Qatar. Through locally administered training programs, our researchers, conservators and museum professionals will be able continuously to enhance their skills and remain up-to-date in their practice. We also look forward to benefit from the new graduate programs in museum studies, conservation and archaeology which will feed our future projects with qualified specialists.”

Founded in 1826, UCL is a public research university in London, and is one of the two founding colleges of the federal University of London. A leading research university in London, UCL is one of the only British universities to set up a branch campus outside the United Kingdom in the Middle East.

UCL’s renowned programs in museum studies, conservation and archaeology aligns both with Qatar Foundation's mission to incubate and advance research in Qatar as well as Qatar Museums Authority's mission of pursuing a policy aimed at preserving and enriching Qatar's cultural heritage through the development of new institutions, preservation programs and research.

“We are delighted to be able to confirm the opening of our new campus in Doha for 2011,” said Professor Michael Worton, UCL Vice-Provost (Academic and International). “UCL has strong values, and we are thrilled to be starting work with our tremendous partners, Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums Authority, with their shared commitment to community development through education, training and research. Qatar already has a tremendous track record of investment in both higher education and museums, and we look forward to enabling the Qatari workforce to develop its own skills, whilst also ensuring that the country’s heritage sector becomes world-leading in its practice, research and outreach.

UCL joins seven hand-picked universities, the campuses of prestigious international institutions that are delivering some of their most renowned programs. These institutions, combined with state-of-the-art facilities on a 6,200 acre site, make Qatar a pioneer in education in the Middle East. The top tier international universities represented are: Virginia Commonwealth University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Northwestern University, and Hautes Etudes Commerciales Paris.