Community College signs MoUs to offer customs degrees

 09 May 2017 - 0:51

Community College signs MoUs to offer customs degrees
Chairman of General Authority of Customs, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Jamal (left), Dr Ibrahim Saleh Al Naimi, President of Community College of Qatar (CCQ), and Prof David Widdowson, Head of Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at the Charles Sturt University, exchanging documents at the CCQ in Doha yesterday. Pic: Salim Matramkot / The Peninsula

By Mohammed Osman / The Peninsula

The Community College of Qatar (CCQ) yesterday signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) to promote educational cooperation with two foreign higher education institutions, namely Charles Sturt University Australia and Miami Dade College USA.
The first MoU was signed between General Authority of Customs (GAC) represented by its Chairman Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Jamal and Charles Sturt University Australia represented by Dr David Widdowson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at the University. Dr Ibrahim Al-Naimi, CCQ President, signed the agreement representing the CCQ.
The second MoU was signed by Dr Ibrahim Al Naimi, CCQ President, with Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. The agreement was signed by Dr Eduardo J Padrón, President of Miami Dade College, USA.
The purpose of MoU signed with Charles Sturt University Australia is to build on the previous agreements to jointly develop and deliver a comprehensive programme of customs education and training for the State of Qatar to raise the academic standards of customs professionals and the profession, with a strong commitment to world-class customs education and best practices.
Every batch for the bachelor degree programme will include 20 students and the diploma programme will receive 30 to 40 students every year and currently there are 70 students enrolled for diploma programme.
Some 42 students graduated, and some of them were expected to join the bachelor degree for the coming two years, Al Nuaimi told The Peninsula.
The signing parties will work together to support cooperation in the implementation of various academic activities such as executing and maintaining two-year degree program of Associate of Applied Science in Customs Management degree; delivery of a Bachelor of Border Management in Doha; exchange of experiences and advice; and commitment to quality assurance standards in accordance with international systems.
The first batch is expected to graduate in 2019, teaching staff of Associate of Applied Science in Customs Management degree; delivery of a Bachelor of Border Management will include professors from Charles Sturt University and certificates will be obtained from Charles Sturt, Al Naimi pointed out.
The role of CCQ will be incubator of the programme and work to ensure the quality output in order to keep up to date with the best practices around the world and meet QGAC requirements. Qatar Customs will select students who are going to join the program, said Al Naimi.
Through this partnership, three batches in diploma have graduated so far, and now we have moved to the next step which is the bachelor degree which will be value added to the program, said Al Niami during the signing ceremony.
The programme will provide students with critical knowledge and skills in the field of customs and border protection. This programme is designed to prepare the customs’ employees and individuals seeking employment in the field of customs and border management, said Al Jamal speaking at the signing ceremony.
Qatar Customs employees will be given priority to join the program and opportunities will be also given to others wishing to join the profession but this will be done in coordination with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Al Jamal explained.
This is the first bachelor degree in border management and the customs authority pays much attention to this because our aim is to build capacities of our staff specially those who joined the work with secondary certificate and there are many of them interested to continue their education in this field, Al Jamal told to the Peninsula.
These areas of education are very essential for the Customs Authority there is a need for scientific and professional efficiency he added, noting that the authority has a plan to establish more partnership with other educational institutions but this will be done in collaboration and coordination with CCQ, he added.
All the training will be undertaken in Qatar but there are opportunities for students interested to be introduced to some experiences of other countries because we have good relation with many countries, David Widdowson outlined.
We are looking for is to raise the academic standards of the customs’ profession and when we came to Qatar we found two institutions keen to pursue that said Widdowson,
The second MOU aims to outline the possible ways in which CCQ and MDC can develop and carry out collaborative activities, including the development of workshops and project opportunities; exchange of students, faculty and staff; development of collaborative research programs or projects of mutual interest; and discussion of academic and administrative developments, including co-sponsorship of symposia, seminars and conferences.
The cooperation will also extend to the development of education generally, including the potential for offering joint programs; exchange of scholarly publications and information; exploration of avenues for participating students to earn college credits at MDC; and development of a 2+2 program pathway for Community College of Qatar associate degree graduates to join MDC baccalaureate degree programs.