Hosting US branch campuses 'costs Qatar £280 million annually'

  • Category: Qatar
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Texas AMQatar spends more than $400 million (£282 million) annually on hosting branch campuses of six leading US universities, according to a report.

That total includes a $76.2 million payment to Texas A&M University from the Qatar Foundation for the operation of an engineering campus at Doha’s Education City complex, details of which were disclosed to The Washington Post after a ruling from Texas’ state attorney general, despite opposition by the foundation.

The five other universities with presences at Education City refused to release details of their operating costs, but the Post said that it had pieced together a picture of the project’s finances using US records.

It estimated that Weill Cornell Medical College, an outpost of Cornell University’s medical school, had been the most expensive institution in 2014, costing the Qatar Foundation $121.7 million.

Costs for Carnegie Mellon University’s business and computer science campus were estimated at $60.3 million, compared with $59.5 million for Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar and $45.3 million for Northwestern University’s communication and journalism outpost.

The cheapest partnership was Virginia Commonwealth University’s fine arts campus, estimated to cost $41.8 million annually.

This puts the total – which does not include construction or other operation expenses at Education City – at $404.8 million.

University College London also has an outpost in Qatar, specialising in heritage studies.

Device to detect stomach cancer developed

  • Category: Qatar
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Qatar Cancer detection deviceDOHA: A device developed in Qatar can detect early stages of stomach cancer.

The capsule-size equipment, which examines the stomach and is being developed by Qatar University (QU) in partnership with TUFTS University and University of Washington, could replace an endoscope.

Named 'Integrated bio-sensors and automated instrumentation for early stomach cancer detect on using flexible capsule endoscope,' the device detects Helicobacter pylori

(H pylori), which causes stomach cancer, Dr John-John Cabibihan, Co-Lead Principal Investigator of the project, told this newspaper.

Stomach cancer or gastric cancer affects the stomach lining and bacterial infection is the most common cause, accounting for more than 60 percent of cases.

"The device we are developing is an endoscope of the size of a capsule, which functions with a sensor linked to a wire. We integrate it with a robotic device that moves it inside the stomach," said Dr Cabibihan, who is also an Associate Professor at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department of QU.

The study is supported by Qatar national Research Fund's flagship funding programme -- National Priorities Research Programme, fourth cycle 2012-2016.

Dr Cabibihan said the device is important for Qatar and the region due to the rising incidence of stomach cancer and smoking, which is a major risk factor for the disease.

According to latest World Health Organization (WHO) data published in May 2014, there were 31 stomach cancer deaths in Qatar.

Figures show 12 percent of the country's population above 15 years smokes.

The capsule endoscope sensor aims at detecting concentrations of carbon dioxide and ammonia in both dissolved and gaseous forms. It is known that the two gases are released during the hydrolysis of urea by H pylori. The bacteria can inhabit in various areas of the stomach, especially close to the bottom.

"In addition, there is an electronic nose that can detect presence of the gases. We are at the end of the project, the sensor has been fully developed and electronic nose is in the final stages of experiment," said Dr Cabibihan.

Source : The Peninsula

US First lady to make solo visit to Middle East

  • Category: Qatar
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FirstLadyWASHINGTON: First Lady Michelle Obama is making her first solo visit to the Middle East, stopping in Qatar and Jordan to promote her global education initiative for girls.

The White House says the trip is planned for next week.

Mrs. Obama is scheduled to speak at a world education summit in Doha, Qatar. She'll also visit the Al Udeid Air Base in support of her separate initiative for U.S. military families.

In Amman, Jordan, the first lady will tour a school that was built with U.S. development funds and other support, and meet with students.

While in Jordan, she will also visit Petra, one of the world's most famous archaeological sites.

Mrs. Obama plans official meetings in both countries. She'll travel without the president or other immediate family.

Associated Press


Michelle Obama urges governments to spend more on education for girls

  • Category: Qatar
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MichelleObamaInQatarDOHA // The US first lady Michelle Obama has urged governments to spend more on education for girls and allow greater rights and freedom for women.

Mrs Obama on Wednesday told a global education summit in Qatar that a change of culture was needed to battle gender inequality in education and employment.

“Solving our girls’ education crisis is definitely about resources but it is also about attitudes and beliefs,” she said. “It’s about whether parents think their daughters are as worthy of an education as their sons.

“It’s about whether our societies cling to outdated laws and traditions that oppress and exclude women, or whether their view of women are as full citizens entitled to equal rights.”

Mrs Obama said 62 million girls worldwide were not in school, and that societies and some of their values had to change before that could be resolved.

“We cannot address our girls’ education crisis until we address the cultural norms and practices that devalue women’s intelligence, that silence their voices, that limit their ambitions.

“We need to provide girls with safe transport to school, but we also need to confront the cultural norms that made girls unsafe in the first place.”

The UAE, Jordan and Qatar are regional leaders in girls’ education, with girls often outperforming boys in reading and maths.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, this week reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to the right of girls to education when she met Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate.

Malala, 18, has become a global advocate for female education after she was shot to the head by a Taliban hitman on a bus taking her to school in 2012.

Mrs Obama was on Wednesday addressing the World Innovation Summit for Education, an annual gathering for policymakers, academics and education leaders.

She was there to promote the US government’s Let Girls Learn initiative, aimed at helping adolescent girls in poor countries or in conflict zones to go to school.

Elias Bou Saab, education minister of Lebanon and executive vice president of the American University in Dubai, said the UAE was seen as a leader in promoting gender equity in education and the workforce.

Mr Bou Saab said the Government had “become a role model for many countries over how serious they are in giving opportunities to women and to education”.

“I don’t think any woman in the UAE who is seeking to get a job cannot get a good job.”

Nour Abu Ragheb, founder of education reform consultancy Edvise ME in Jordan, said gender inequity often surfaced after women graduated from university and entered the workforce.

“You go to girls’ schools and you find they’re more articulate, they’re more focused, they’re doing well, they like school and they like learning,” Ms Abu Ragheb told the summit.

“You go to the boys’ schools and that’s not the case. But I think after they’re done with their education, that’s where we need to confront all of the traditional norms.

“Whether they choose to get married early or whether it’s imposed, that’s something that we need to talk about.”

Ms Abu Ragheb said authorities must offer support to recent graduates so that they could continue their career after starting a family, by improving maternity leave and offering daycare centres at the office.

Social limits must also be addressed, she said.

“A husband might not want his wife to be working, a father might be more conservative than her,” Ms Abu Ragheb said.

“There are social issues – how much say she has in decision-making at the home level, how mobile she is.”

The National

Qatar National Research Fund to host 2016 Belmont Forum

  • Category: Qatar
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belmont forumManama: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has made history by becoming the first agency from the Middle East and North Africa region to be elected as a full member of the Belmont Forum.

The Belmont Forum, a group of high-level representatives from global funding agencies, is the main international joint-funding initiative on research into the impact and mitigation of global environmental climate change.

The Forum brings together entities from the USA, the EU, Japan, China, Brazil, South Africa, and India, to design and fund research programmes for implementation at a global level. 

Following its elections last week in the Norwegian capital Oslo, QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), was selected to host the next annnual meeting of the organisation, to be be held in Qatar in 2016.

QNRF continues to support Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development on its mission to help promote and develop Qatar as a hub of research excellence, and as a member of the Belmont Forum, will link Qatar’s research community to top international research projects.

“QNRF is the first agency from the Middle East and North Africa region to join the consortium and is extremely proud to be part of the Belmont Forum,” Abdul Sattar Al Taie, QNRF Executive Director, said. “Qatar now joins 19 other nations to address the global challenge of climate change, a topic particularly relevant to the country and the Gulf region, as environmental sustainability remains high on the agenda of Qatar National Research Strategy.”

Joining the Belmont Forum will open up further mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration between Qatar-based and global research institutions to achieve sustainable, long-term solutions through knowledge sharing and technology transfer, he added.

QNRF has participated in this year’s call for proposals on the development of better regional modelling of the climate and its impact and, in particular, to helping prevent extreme weather events, such as dust storms.

ArticleSource : Gulf News

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