DOHA: Qatar University announced on Wednesday that it has joined the Francophone University Agency, also known as the AUF, the Qatar News Agency reported
The university said that membership of the AUF, a global network of French-language higher education and research institutions, forms part of its global efforts to enhance its scientific and research relationships and partnerships.
The announcement was made during an event attended by Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, the president of the university, and French Ambassador to Qatar Jean-Baptiste Faivre, along with officials from the university and the AUF.
Al-Derham said the university is pleased to join the AUF because it will open up new opportunities for scientific collaboration with prestigious universities in France, Canada and French-speaking African and Arab countries.
He added that the institution is keen to capitalize on the distinguished relations between Qatar and France in all fields and to expand their cooperation in the field of education.
The university has been supporting this relationship for years by offering students the chance to study the French language and establishing a student club for French speakers, said Al-Derham, and it also seeks to establish agreements with French universities in the scientific and humanitarian fields.
Ambassador Faivre said he is pleased that the university has joined such an important international organization, which “represents an important mechanism for developing the teaching of the French language in Qatar and transferring the Francophone civilization to the world.”
Jean-Noel Baleo, the director of AUF in the Middle East, spoke about the significance of Qatar University’s membership and explained the aims of the agency, which include strengthening scientific cooperation among member institutions, improving the quality of education, training and scientific accreditation, and building partnerships between universities.
He added that the agency has offices in more than 120 countries and more than 100 universities worldwide, and has forged extensive partnerships in the Middle East and around the globe, including research cooperation with universities in Tunisia, Iran, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, among others countries.
Baleo also highlighted other important benefits of such partnerships, including student exchanges between member universities, faculty exchanges and the sharing of research, and emphasized the agency’s efforts to establish joint research projects in various fields of higher education.
Professor Mariam Al-Ali Al-Maadeed, Qatar University’s vice president for research and graduate studies, provided details of a cybersecurity agreement it has signed with a French university, and added that it is hoped more joint research efforts with institutions in France will follow.
Professor Lara Karam Al-Bustani, a representative of the Conference of Francophone University Presidents in the Middle East, welcomed Qatar University’s membership of the AUF and the benefits it will bring to both parties.