In the largest overseas program developed by a Canadian university, the University of Calgary will bring state-of-the-art nursing education to the State of Qatar in the Arabian Peninsula.
Beginning in August 2007, a branch campus called University of Calgary-Qatar, will be created in Qatar’s capital city of Doha. The program is projected to grow to 100 students a year for the baccalaureate degree in nursing. Other programs, such as master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, as well as specialty nursing programs, will be phased in during the term of the 10-year, renewable agreement.
“The University of Calgary is excited to be playing a lead role in delivering world-class health care in Qatar,” said U of C President Dr. Harvey Weingarten. “It’s an opportunity to broaden our international exposure while assisting the Qatari government in its efforts to redefine health care in Qatar and the Gulf region.”
Added Weingarten: “Calgary students and professors will also have an unprecedented opportunity to gain international experience teaching and learning overseas. They will bring new skills and insights to their health-care practices when they return to Canada.”
Qatar currently provides certain education and training programs in nursing, but its government is committed to offering education and research programs that meet international quality standards. Part of that commitment includes creating a new nursing education and research facility that features the latest in academic programs and medical technology.
Top medical, nursing and health sciences schools created in Qatar will together form an important platform for producing the human resources needed throughout the Gulf region to provide high-quality patient care and relevant medical research.
“The development of competitive human resources has been a high priority on the national agenda to meet the needs of the fast growing socio-economic developments occurring in our country” said Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Saud Al Thani, chief the Amiri Diwan in the State of Qatar.
“The Qatari leadership has committed to offer the young generations from Qatar and the region high-quality educational opportunities, through partnerships with diverse elite institutions from around the world. We welcome the University of Calgary as our latest international partner in the Education Lighthouse created in the State of Qatar.”
The health-care system in Qatar is growing very quickly and is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
“There is a growing need in Qatar for professional nurses who can function in important roles and at various levels in the promotion of health, community practice, education, leadership and research,” said Dr. Latifa Al-Houty, chair of the board of directors of Hamad Medical Corporation.
“Qatar is thriving for excellence in both education and health. In this context, excellence in nursing education becomes a necessity.”
It is estimated that during the first five years of the program, more than 120 staff and faculty will be required, including professors, management staff and support staff. Qatar locals will comprise about a quarter of the workforce.
Some of the areas that have been deemed priorities are acute care specialties, community and home nursing, midwifery, nurse education, primary care, psychiatric and mental health nursing, and renal nursing.
“The U of C’s nursing education program blends the best of clinical practice, learner-centred programming and research,” said Faculty of Nursing Dean Dr. Michael Clinton. “With this program, we assume a pre-eminent leadership role in international nursing education.”
Several leading North American universities already have branch campuses in Qatar, including Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A & M University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Newfoundland’s College of the North Atlantic, established a branch campus in Qatar more than four years ago.
Graduates from the Qatar program will meet the same Canadian and international standards for nursing as students at the Calgary campus. Prospective students will need to meet all U of C entrance standards in mathematics, chemistry and biology.