The Core Curriculum Programme at the Deanship of General Studies at Qatar University (QU) has introduced a number of initiatives during the 2020/2021 academic year to support the university’s strategy towards innovation and digital transformation.
Among the initiatives implemented by the programme is the integration of 3D design and printing technology in a number of required courses such as Innovation, Leadership and Civic Engagement (UNIV 200) and Mathematics in Society (MATH 105). This comes in line with the role assigned to the programme to unlock students' innovation potential and develop their digital competencies, QU has said in a statement.
Dr Omar al-Ansari, vice-president for Academic Affairs, expressed gratitude for these initiatives that are in line with steps taken with regard to innovation and digital transformation. The university aspires, through digitally enhanced curricula, to be a pioneering educational institution that provides curricula and teaching approaches that meet the needs of the next generation. Advanced digital technology such as design technology and 3D printing plays a fundamental role in changing the requirements of the labour market in the next 10 years.
He added that such initiatives would support achieving the university’s strategic goals. They also enhance QU’s continued active role towards excellence and maintains it place among the most prestigious universities.
Prof Dr Ibrahim al-Kaabi, dean of General Studies, praised the initiative and stressed the pivotal role of the Core Curriculum Programme, which plays an important role in preparing students and equipping them with skills, abilities and competencies that help meet the needs of society.
He explained that such technologies enable them to be aware of the development of the world around them "in light of the amazing technological revolution as we are living in a challenging world today. Our students must be well-educated and qualified for the labour market."
Prof Rana Sobh, director of the Core Curriculum Programme, said: “Such initiatives come as a result of a comprehensive development process for the programme during the past three years, which include a series of important changes that would have a positive impact on enhancing student engagement and then improving the educational process and outcomes.”
On the initiative to integrate design technology and 3D printing into the university requirements decisions, Prof Sobh said the programme had launched this initiative with the aim of enabling students to design, print and model what they envision in order to apply what they learned in terms of scientific concepts and theories. It will also open new opportunities and horizons to learn about other advanced technologies and the best ways to employ them.
She indicated that the trial implementation of the project was based on two courses that were added as one of the outputs of the development process that took place on the programme, namely UNIV 200 and MATH 105.
Dr Abdul Hamid Ahmed, course instructor (Innovation, Leadership and Civic Engagement), said: “The 3D printing experience is a great addition to the course. I learned a lot from this experience as a teacher. It is an opportunity for us to improve our digital competencies as teachers, not just to develop students. Students are excited to learn more about this technology.”
Professor Sobh expressed great happiness with the outcomes of this experience, saying: “3D design and printing are being integrated into more Core Curriculum courses in order to achieve the desired goals of helping students gain more insight into the new challenges faced in our society. This comes to activate the effective role that the programme plays to prepare students and equip them with skills, abilities and competencies that meet the needs and aspirations of society.”