Qatar University welcomes 93 new international students
The International Students Section (ISS) of Qatar University welcomed 93 incoming international students on August 31 in an orientation exercise aimed at easing their transition to a new academic environment and a new country.
The students from Mexico, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Turkey and other countries were new admits to QU’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs and its Arabic for Non-Native Speakers (ANNS) program.
They were introduced to a number of processes and resources at QU in relation to personal, financial, immigration and housing issues.
ISS employees provided the newcomers with briefings on administrative issues such as obtaining their residency permit and undergoing medical tests to opening a bank account, buying text books and general information about the university and its facilities.
ISS Head Ms Huda Dabbour welcomed the students and wished them a successful academic journey. “ISS is a starting point for you all to transition with ease into your new life here in Qatar. We are here to assist and support all students to ensure they have a distinguished academic experience”, she said.
Kahraman Jamal from the College of International Students in Turkey said: “My main purpose to study at QU is to improve my Arabic language and interact with students from various cultures.” Jamal highlights the importance of the orientation session in answering all his questions regarding QU services and facilities.
Chemistry undergraduate Afnan AbdulRasheed from Somalia said: “I heard about QU from relatives here who encouraged me to come to Qatar and benefit from the remarkable academic experience that QU provides to its students.”
Her colleague Reem Othman, enginnering undergraduate, said: “QU’s website gave me a good impression about the university and inspired me to pursue my studies here. I would like to thank ISS for this opportunity and my appreciation is extended to all academic advisors who extended every effort to respond to our concerns.”
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”