Microsoft and Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to empower students and provide them with the tools and experiences necessary to drive innovation and succeed in the workforce.
Ms. Lana Khalaf, Microsoft Country Manager, joined Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr. César Octavio Malavé to sign the agreement during a small, on-campus ceremony.
In the current fourth industrial revolution, students need digital skills to thrive in an increasingly digital economy, the partners said. Institutions of higher education must keep up with these changing environments to ensure graduates have the talent and training to drive economic growth as soon as they begin their careers.
Under the new agreement, Texas A&M at Qatar will leverage Microsoft tools to achieve their common goal of empowering students to gain the future-ready skills needed to increase their competitiveness and enhance their employability in a digitally driven job market.
“Digital transformation is reshaping the jobs landscape and driving the demand for digital skills,” said Lana Khalaf, country manager of Microsoft Qatar. “To drive the best employability outcomes in today’s digital economy, colleges and universities need to ensure their students develop the right 21st century skills and knowledge for their career of choice after graduation. Our partnership with Texas A&M at Qatar comes in line with our commitment to provide higher education institutions in Qatar with the resources and tools needed to build the next-generation workforce that will accelerate the country’s transition into a knowledge-based economy and innovation hub in line with QNV 2030.”
Texas A&M at Qatar has identified several activities to pilot these in the 2021-2022 academic year: Microsoft Learn—which provides self-paced, digital learning resources to build skills and a foundational understanding of technology—complements classroom learning and study materials to best prepare students for in-demand jobs. Students may also join the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador Community, which will help students learn and lead by giving them access to free tools, events and activities and unlock exclusive benefits through learning. Through Microsoft Azure for Students, students can gain hands-on experience with Microsoft technologies to start building apps, explore artificial intelligence (AI) and make the most of big data.
Faculty and teaching staff at Texas A&M at Qatar will also have access to Azure Development Tools for Teaching, which provides access to tools commonly used in STEM programs, as well as opportunities to participate in the Microsoft Learn for Educators Institution Program, which gives eligible educators access to additional teaching and learning benefits.
Texas A&M at Qatar’s Malavé said the partnership supports Texas A&M at Qatar’s mission of educating engineers and developing world-class leaders through innovative and renowned degree programs.
“Texas A&M at Qatar is proud to partner with our friends Microsoft Qatar as we work together to educate engineering leaders in Qatar,” Malavé said. “We are grateful to share this vision with Microsoft Qatar and we look forward to the future successes of this partnership—and especially of our graduates.”