Doha Counselors Day

School counselors take part in Doha Counselors Day

  • Qatar Foundation, its six campuses and ABP invite school counselors for a day-long program
  • 80 secondary school counselors from around Qatar participated

Doha – (September 2010): Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development and its six world-class campuses – Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and Northwestern University in Qatar – invited school counselors from around Qatar to attend the annual Doha Counselors Day event.

The program is designed to communicate important information about Education City and admissions, as well as to provide a forum for discussion of best practices in the field of high school guidance counseling.  The event was open to all secondary schools around Qatar, with approximately 80 counselors in attendance. The counselors who attended work at independent and private schools across the country.

This year’s event was held at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. The day opened with a brief welcome by Dr. Dennis Roberts, Assistant Vice President for Faculty and Student Services of Qatar Foundation’s Education Division.  “Qatar has committed resources to enhancing educational opportunity for its citizens that set a standard for the rest of the globe” Dr. Roberts said. “Counselors are in a unique position as door openers to this incredible resource. The messages that are most important in counseling students are; seek to identify a commitment that has value to others, have confidence that hard work pays off, and dedicate the time and effort to prepare yourself.”

The program followed with a presentation about Education City highlighting its academic programs, out of classroom experiences, and opportunities for experiential learning.  Admissions directors from the universities described the holistic approach to evaluating university applications. They highlighted that academic achievement (rigor of curriculum, grades and standardized testing scores) is the most important factor. However, personal qualities also play an important role in the admissions decisions. For example, student involvement outside of the classroom in leadership, extracurricular activities and other programs are very important.  The student’s personal statement, teacher recommendation letters and interview are all parts of the process that allow the admissions directors to learn more.

The morning session concluded with a panel of students and alumni who spoke about their experience at Education City. Students and graduates proudly described their rich experience at Education city and reflected their satisfaction from the decision they made, a few years ago, to attend university at Education City. Abdulhadi Al Saei, a first year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, said: “As a student, I have the advantage of enjoying the integrated programs within Education City and Qatar Foundation. The integrated programs have significantly helped in shaping my academic and life experiences. I was once a student at the academic bridge program to help increase my admission chances at Weill Cornell Medical College, I then joined the foundation program at Weill Cornell Medical College, where I was well prepared for my medical studies and various courses”.

Stressing the advantages students enjoy at Education City, Hanouf Al Buainain, a student at Georgetown University School of Foreign Services in Qatar, said: “Students at Education City are offered a unique opportunity to lead their social lives. We are privileged to develop a number of student activities and inaugurate interest clubs; we enjoy the ownership of shaping our student lives at Education City”.

Students also highlighted some of their motives to attend university at Education City. Benazir Karim, a current student at Northwestern University in Qatar, said: “Universities at Education City enjoy an impressive global reputation and high academic standards which helps student start pursuing their dreams the day they enrol. Every day at Northwestern University, we are being further encouraged to accomplish our career and personal goals in a healthy and friendly environment.”

A major goal of Qatar Foundation this year was to facilitate dialogue and best-practice sharing among counselors themselves.  This year’s program included an interactive session on admissions case studies, as well as a panel discussion about counseling ‘Best Practices’ that featured counselors from schools across Qatar. Highlighting case studies by the admissions representatives offered participating counselors an opportunity to learn more about the common challenges facing students applying to universities at Education City.

The session also discussed advantages students should leverage in their applications to facilitate and increase their chances to be accepted at the universities. Moreover, counselors had a chance to hear from their fellow colleagues about the best practices and methods adopted to facilitate the applications and admissions process for prospective students.

Maged fathallah, a panelist who works as a counselor at the Doha Independent Secondary School for Boys said: “I believe today’s session allowed us to exchange some of our previous experiences working in cooperation with Education City. A large percentage of participating counselors today were new, and it was very helpful for us to hear their fresh views while we shared with them our practical experience.”

Qatar Foundation also announced that they will host three additional counselor forums to be held on November 2, December 7 and January 11.  These workshop-style forums will be held at Education City and each one of them will focus on a specific topic related to admissions and college counseling. “I am pleased to learn that Qatar Foundation will be holding additional counselors’ workshops, these sessions are forming a platform for experience, exchange and networking. Today, at The Doha Counselors Day, I have learned a lot to help our students and I look forward to sharing my experience with our colleagues in future workshops.” said Hamad Abdul-Aziz, academic counselor at Omar Bin Khattab Educational Complex.

The Doha Counselors Day is an annual event held in advance of Discover Education City Qatar that will be held on October 6 at the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar building. At the event, university representatives will discuss the programs offered at Education City, as well as answer questions from prospective students and their parents.


For further information, please contact:

Tariq Al Sada

Press Office Unit Head, Media Relations Dept,
Communication Directorate
Qatar Foundation

Tel: +974 454 0991
Mobile: +974 5886760


Riham El Houshi

Press Office Coordinator, Media Relations Dept, Communication Directorate
Qatar Foundation

Tel: 974 4540967

Mob: 974 3180096