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New regional council to strengthen university's ties in the Middle East

Building on success of UCQ, council will expand on academic and research partnerships in the region
May 7, 2014
Middle East regional advisory council, from left: Janaka Ruwanpura, Savera Hayat-Dade, Jaydeep Balakrishnan, Naser El-Sheimy, Penny Werthner, Dru Marshall, Charles LeDuc, Maha Al-Zu’Bi, and Gord Moore. Photo courtesy University of Calgary International

Middle East regional advisory council, from left: Janaka Ruwanpura, Savera Hayat-Dade, Jaydeep Balakrishnan, Naser El-Sheimy, Penny Werthner, Dru Marshall, Charles LeDuc, Maha Al-Zu’Bi, and Gord Moore. Photo courtesy University of Calgary International

The new Middle East Regional Advisory Council led by Provost Dru Marshall recently convened to decide which countries in this region of emphasis would be targeted for further development.

In addition to the university’s nursing campus in Qatar and the research potential there, the council members identified other exciting opportunities to bridge to countries in that region, especially around energy, education, health, earth and space technologies and sports medicine.

“The Middle East presents some terrific opportunities for our institution,” says Marshall.

The ties with Qatar are deep. The University of Calgary in Qatar campus (UCQ), established in 2007, offers a Bachelor of Nursing degree and a Master of Nursing program. UCQ is at the forefront of health promotion and disease prevention in Qatar. Nursing students are educated to the same Canadian standards and deliver evidence-based health care, are strong critical thinkers, and function as a change agents with focus on the entire family.  

The University of Calgary has several institutional agreements in the region, including those in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and enrolls around 450 students from Middle East at its Qatar and Calgary campuses combined. “Our purpose is to build up on the success of the University of Calgary in Qatar to expand our opportunities in education, training and research in the Middle East area,” says Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international).

Middle East is one of six regions of emphasis identified under the International Strategy launched in 2013. In this strategy, the university has committed to increase diversity of students on campus, advance educational and research partnerships, and boost international development efforts.

“The council’s work will further help us leverage and share expertise and capacity with targeted institutions in these regions/countries of emphasis,” adds Ruwanpura. “It greatly complements our efforts to position the university as a global intellectual hub where students, staff and faculty promote new discoveries, ideas and applications that will have global impact, in partnerships with universities throughout the world.”

Members of the Middle East Regional Advisory Council:

  • Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic)
  • Ed McCauley, vice-president (research)
  • Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international)
  • Jaydeep Balakrishnan, professor, Haskayne School of Business
  • Kim Critchley, dean and chief executive officer, University of Calgary in Qatar
  • Naser El-Sheimy, professor, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Tareq Ismael, professor, Faculty of Arts
  • Charles LeDuc, professor, Faculty of Medicine
  • Gord Moore, professor, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Barry Sanders, professor, Faculty of Science
  • Penny Werthner, professor, Faculty of Kinesiology
  • Franco Marincola, chief research officer, SIDRA
  • Todd McRae, vice-president, TAQA North
  • Maha Al-Zu’Bi, graduate student, Faculty of Environmental Design
  • Jacob Nasser, undergraduate student, Faculty of Science
  • Glynn Hunter, University of Calgary International representative
  • Savera Hayat-Dade, University of Calgary International representative