The final stops of our campus immersions were today at the College of the North Atlantic and Qatar University. These are both institutions which follow a much more traditional Qatari cultural perspective, and have segregated portions of their campuses. As a result of the more traditional approach in their educational model, I won’t have very many pictures to offer to this post that contain students, as that is something that is not allowed for us to do during our visit. But I will try to offer a few samples of the places we were today so you can see where we were.
The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) is a Canadian based University out of Newfoundland that came to Qatar in 2001. They offer a range of programs in diploma and certificate format, including Health Sciences, Dentistry, and Information Technology. One of the most interesting parts of our visit, besides our time interacting with the student activities staff, was the 3-D modeling system used by their medical staff to do training on anatomy and physiology. They described it to us as the most sophisticated system in the country right now, and that most doctors come to do training there and go back their normal x-ray systems when they are done. Definitely a feather in their cap for their training offerings. Our visits to various parts of the campus were also segregated, with each section of us visiting the appropriate training and exercise areas designated for each group. I did enjoy their green soccer field, as well as their pool.
We also enjoyed our visit to Qatar University, the official state sponsored university in the country. They are by far the largest university in terms of enrollment in the country, with 8000 students (6000 guys, 2000 girls). They are also in a segregated format, although part of our discussions in the Q&A session of our visit involved questions about the future format of their clubs and student organizations. All of the students we spoke with, including the President of their college Business Club, are interested and excited to be working with us in the upcoming Young Professionals Institute that begins tomorrow, and exploring the many topics that are part of student affairs. Our tour of the campus was also segregated as like CNA, and included their outdoor athletic track and pool. Each group also was able to visit the Men’s and Women’s Student Activities area, where each set of students are able to be in their own ‘union’ with games, Internet stations, and snack area. Our small group of guys also made the trek over to the Women’s area, and as we entered the building to gain access they had to first make an announcement that men were entering the building and to cover up. Talk about being on the spot. : )
All of us enjoyed being able to interact with our student counterparts, and all of us are excited to begin our collaboration effort tomorrow in the Institute.
We finished up our evening at Denny’s house with a nice pre-institute kickoff reception to wind down our evening. We certainly appreciated his hospitality and for bringing us together before our work begins.
YPI starts tomorrow early!