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CUC Ulster University Celebrates Its 2023 Graduates

(Doha, Qatar, 8th September 2023) – In the splendid and opulent ambiance of the Pullman Hotel in Doha, Qatar, on the 24th of September, an extraordinary celebration of student achievement filled with pride, accomplishment and the promise of a bright future unfolded. With a legacy of academic excellence, CUC Ulster University held its graduation ceremony recognising the hard work and dedication of the Class of 2023, with the conferment of master’s and bachelor’s qualifications and prestigious higher national diplomas.

As part of the evening’s programme, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra delivered an elaborate and quintessential performance, mesmerizing the audience and contributing to the enchanting atmosphere of the ceremony. Their breathtaking melodies and harmonious compositions added a layer of sophistication and grandeur to the event.

The orchestra’s performance captivated the hearts and minds of all in attendance. Their music resonated with the theme of excellence and achievement, creating an unforgettable experience that will be cherished by the graduates and their families for years to come.

Dr. Khalid Al Ali, the Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, shared his thoughts on the significance of the event, saying “Witnessing your accomplishments and the result of your unwavering dedication is truly inspiring. It’s important to recognise that education is a continuous voyage of lifelong learning.” Dr. Khalid Al Ali also commended the partnership between City University College and Ulster University with acknowledgement to Ms. Natra Abdullah, the Founder of CUC Ulster University, and the dedicated team for their contribution to the local and international educational landscape which he affirmed as pivotal in Qatar’s journey of academic excellence. Moreover, Dr Khalid Al Ali expressed his enthusiasm about the speed at which CUC Ulster is growing and its expansion plan with the construction of the new Lusail campus. The completion of the new campus in Lusail according to Dr Khalid Al Ali reaffirms the unwavering commitment to providing world-class learning facilities that align seamlessly with the mission to deliver a leading undergraduate and postgraduate experience in Qatar.

Dr. Faris Gorashi, the Executive Dean of CUC Ulster University, expressed his pride in recognition of the graduates’ achievements: “This celebration marks the culmination of many long hours of hard work and dedicated study that our students have so reverently put in.” Dr. Faris encouraged the graduates to “transcend their roles as a degree holder, urging them to embrace their destiny as architects of an unwritten future.” Dr. Faris reminded each graduate that they possessed the potential to change, inspire, and lead an unwritten future waiting to be inscribed with narratives of pride, wonder, and inspiration.
Dr. Faris further commended the partnership with Ulster University, recognising its national and international reputation for excellence, and innovation, highlighting that Ulster University currently ranks in the top 25% of UK universities for world-leading research. “We have a joint commitment to create one of the leading higher education institutions in the region by providing relevant, demand-led undergraduate and postgraduate higher education programmes and qualifications that contribute to Qatar’s Vision 2030 initiatives” said Dr. Faris. Furthermore, Dr. Faris Gorashi acknowledged the large Ulster delegation joining the ceremony as part of this momentous occasion. Dr. Faris also acknowledged the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education for their support, underscoring their pivotal role in the partnership between City University College and Ulster University.

Ulster University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Bartholomew highlighted the partnership between City University College and Ulster University and the celebration of the students’ achievements. He also acknowledged the contributions of staff and faculty for their academic success: “Today is significant for everyone gathered here. Not least to mark the bond between City University College and Ulster University, but also importantly to celebrate the achievements of our students. Together we are stronger and by working together in a spirit of partnership, we can develop new thinking and new opportunities to make a positive impact on the world. Forward-looking institutions like ours have a vital role to play in creating these new opportunities for the societies we serve, for our staff and for our students.”

Professor Bartholomew further reminded the graduates of their unique position within the global alumni network, which boasts more than 220,000 Ulster University graduates spread across the world. Professor Bartholomew highlighted the prospects that lay before the graduates, celebrating their newfound capacity to shape industries, communities, and futures. He went on further to comment that the successful completion of any University course is always a momentous, personal milestone and you should feel proud of your achievements. “Your university staff – the lecturers, technicians and professional services teams – have also contributed to your learning experience and I extend my thanks to each of them.”

His Excellency, Jonathan Wilks CMG, the UK’s Ambassador to Qatar, bestowed his wisdom of more than 30 years as a UK diplomat across the Middle East upon the graduates. He emphasised the special nature of the international collaboration between the UK and Qatar, and he celebrated their qualifications not only as the gateway to prosperous careers but as the key to becoming ambassadors for Qatar on the global stage.
The event was further graced by the presence of His Excellency, Saleh bin Majed Al-Khulaifi, Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. His Excellency, Saleh bin Majed Al-Khulaifi shared a personal reflection of his life story and how determination, resilience, and unwavering commitment to excellence formed the hallmark of his academic journey leading to his career.

In his address, His Excellency remarked that “Each one of you has the potential to shape your own destiny. My own career has been a testament to the power of education, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of one’s dreams. As you embark on this new phase of your lives, remember that your education is a powerful tool that can open doors and create opportunities you may have never imagined.” Graduates, Faculty and distinguished guests were deeply moved by His Excellency’s words of wisdom and encouragement. His personal reflection served as a reminder of the transformative power of education and the endless possibilities that lie ahead for the graduates.

Student Representatives Shared Their Experience at CUC Ulster University

In poignant and reflective moments, student representatives Said Ali Qayum Khan Mir Badshah, Ali Ahmed Ali Abdully Alyazidi, and Dr. Jowhara Hamad S Al-Qahtani shared their experiences, emphasizing the solid foundation provided by CUC Ulster University as part of their academic journey.
Said Ali Qayum Khan Mir Badshah, a CUC Ulster graduate stated that “The education that we received at CUC Ulster University Qatar is a solid foundation that we are so grateful to have as well as the many career opportunities, or in some cases, like myself, their own entrepreneurial journey going forward.”
Ali Ahmed Ali Abdully Alyazidi, a CUC Ulster Graduate remarked that “I stand here before you not just as a speaker but also as a fellow dreamer. I’ve seen the ups and downs, the late-night moments of doubts and the joys of success. Your journey through your university with all the challenges and achievements has been about more than just gaining knowledge. It’s been about discovering who you are and who you can become.”

Dr. Jowhara Hamad S Al-Qahtani, a CUC Ulster Graduate: “When I embarked on this journey, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of apprehension followed by a remarkable transformation that allowed me to come through with flying colors. This programme equipped me with the necessary knowledge and nurtured my personal and professional growth to be among the women leaders of tomorrow.”

During the event, several awards were presented to outstanding students for their exceptional academic achievements, leadership, and community service. These awards exemplify the commitment of City University College and Ulster University to nurture well-rounded individuals ready to make a positive impact on society.
As the graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives, they do so with the knowledge, skills, and confidence instilled in them by City University College and Ulster University. The event at the Pullman Hotel Ballroom was a true celebration of their hard work, determination, and the pursuit of excellence.

About City University College in partnership with Ulster University:

City University College is a leading institution committed to providing high-quality education and fostering personal growth among its students. Through its partnership with Ulster University, the university offers more than 15 postgraduate, undergraduate, and higher national diploma programmes across such areas as Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics, Business Studies and Computer Science, among others. CUC Ulster University is the first campus outside of the UK of the internationally ranked, and 158-year-old Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which has numerous other campuses throughout Northern Ireland and UK. More notably, CUC Ulster is the pioneer of the first master’s in education management in Qatar and the first MBA in women’s leadership programme in the MENA region, shaping the future of education and female leadership within the country and the wider region.

CUC Ulster is a member of Artan Consulting and Educational Services (ACES): a private education group that owns, manages, and operates educational institutions in Qatar with the objective of fostering academic innovation and excellence. To learn more about the programmes, visit and on social media at @CUCUlster or call 40198198. CUC is licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar.

About Ulster University:

Ulster University is a prestigious institution known for its research excellence and academic achievements. It has a strong international presence and collaborates with institutions worldwide to provide students with a global perspective on education.

Media Contact:

Michael Stellwag, MBA

+974 66881044

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