UCL Qatar represents a unique three-way partnership between UCL, Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums Authority, positioning Qatar as the centre of excellence in museum practice in the region and furthering the understanding of Arab and Islamic archaeology. The arrival of UCL further establishes Qatar as an international centre of excellence in research in archaeology, conservation, cultural heritage and museology.
The UCL Qatar campus builds upon UCL’s renowned strengths in conservation, museum studies and archaeology, with world-class scholars, scientists and teachers from UCL’s Institute of Archaeology relocating to Doha. Two-year Master of Arts degree programmes in Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World, and in Conservation and Museum Studies, will commence in August 2012. UCL Qatar has also begun providing a number of specialist training courses for Qatar Museums Authority staff and mid-career professionals.
We are situated at Hamad bin Khalifa University, located on the western outskirts of Doha. The expansive site houses branch campuses for seven international universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Weill Cornell Medical College, each specialising in different subject areas. In addition, UCL staff and students will have a presence at Qatari museums, archaeological sites and conservation facilities. This distributed approach to UCL Qatar will ensure that its activities take place in the parts of Qatar's developing cultural resources where they can best serve the needs of heritage professionals, researchers and students.
Student numbers are expected to grow steadily up to 2015, at which point 150 students will be undertaking our degree programmes. UCL staff will also contribute to teaching at Qatar University and at the US university campuses at Hamad bin Khalifa University, and large numbers of school children will benefit from cultural heritage teaching as part of planned outreach programmes. From the outset, UCL Qatar will conduct research of relevance to the Gulf and to the Arab world more broadly. To this end, UCL is locating to Qatar four existing research projects of great significance to the Gulf region.
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That radical tradition remains alive today. Our research strategy commits us to addressing UCL’s ‘Grand Challenges’, by working together right across the university in order to tackle the problems that face us today.