Manama: National University: 9th September 2012
Ahlia University recently held a special ceremony to inaugurate the Master’s degree in Engineering Management program from George Washington University, U.S. at the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel in the presence of the American Ambassador in the Kingdom of Bahrain and a number of dignitaries and representatives from more than 50 ministries and companies Industrial and professional associations.
In his opening remarks, Professor Abdullahi Al Hawaj, President Ahlia University welcomed the attendants and stressed the importance of this event, which represents “a fine example of academic cooperation between a reputed American University and a Bahraini educational institute of higher education for the benefit and advancement of Bahraini and Gulf engineering professionals”.
“At Ahlia University we place great emphasis on our international academic cooperation. Today we maintain affiliation agreements with more than 15 institutions around the globe including five universities in the United States. However, we view the agreement with George Washington University Ahlia as an important milestone in our journey towards fulfilling our goal to achieve excellence in education, as it enables us to offer one of the most reputable and most sought –after international Master’s degree program to our community in the Kingdom and GCC countries,” Professor Al Hawaj said.
He explained that the Master’s degree in Engineering Management is a well-established program that is designed to bridge the gap between management and engineering to enable engineers, scientists and business professionals to lead the process of change and to apply the power of information technology to the management of their organizations. “The program aims at teaching and training engineering professionals on ways to complement their technical knowledge with managerial skills,” he added.
President of Ahlia University expressed his satisfaction with the overwhelming response the program since the initial announcement was made. The first group of students is expected to start the program with the beginning of the next academic year 2012-2013.
In his address, H.E. Thomas Krajeski, Ambassador of the United States to Bahrain expressed his happiness to be present at the opening ceremony “to celebrate this innovative new program as the latest example of people-to-people exchanges that are the basis of this rich and multifaceted relationship”. “Degree programs like this one are but one of the many ways the peoples of our two countries collaborate in cultural and educational exchange,” he added.
Ambassador Krajeski reviewed the various academic educational exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government such the Fulbright and Humphrey Programs, the International Visitors Leadership Program, ACCESS programs for English language learning. “All of these different programs offer us the opportunity to nurture these on-going friendships and to create new opportunities for personal and professional linkages,” he said.
HE Ambassador Krajeski commended the Ahlia University-George Washington University agreement to offer a Master’s degree in Engineering Management in Bahrain. “This is the first program of its kind in Bahrain – one that specifically seeks to develop managerial skills among students who will then apply those skills to engineering projects and work here in Bahrain. This combination of managerial and engineering skills represents an innovative approach to developing the future of engineering in Bahrain,” he said. “By bringing these two skill-sets together, the GW-Ahlia program will empower Bahraini engineers to manage and address their own unique challenges successfully,” he concluded.
Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Director General of Urban Planning at the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture and HE Engineer Fahmi Jowder the former Minister of Works Minister , both alumni of the same program spoke about their experiences at the George Washington University and explained how they benefited from the knowledge and skills provided through the program and how the knowledge they acquire was instrumental in the progress of their career. They called upon all institutions and individuals to seize the opportunity to join the program as it is offered locally for the first time.
Dr. Ahmed Nasser, the Program Coordinator, gave a brief introduction the program, which is considered one of the well-established academic Programs in the United States as it has been offered for the first time more than one hundred and fifty years ago. The number enrolled is not less than 1500 students at any one time.
Professor Abdulla Al Hawaj and Dr Ahmed Nasser then answered questions of the attendants. It was explained that the degree will be awarded directly by GWU and that the program has been a the Board of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Kingdom of Bahrain also made clear that university fees before the program is less than half the cost of the same program in the United States with the knowledge that the student registered in this program is a student at George Washington University and the U.S. has all the services provided by the two universities. Also joining the program is subject to the conditions laid down by George Washington University and the student can attend the graduation ceremony of graduation on the campus of American University in Washington.
At the end of the opening ceremony, Professor Abdullah Hawaj thanked all those present and wished them every success and prosperity.