Record Number of Students Enroll at Northwestern Qatar

September 09, 2020

Aspiring journalists, app developers, creative storytellers, and film directors are among the more than 130 new students enrolled in Northwestern Qatar’s freshmen class.

The Class of 2024, the largest to date, includes students from 32 countries, bringing the total number of nationalities represented by the school’s student body to nearly 60. This year’s class includes students from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Colombia, Ireland, Ghana, and Somalia.

Regardless of where they come from, the students have their own unique story about why they joined Northwestern Qatar and their aspirations for what they want to accomplish range from advocating for societal change to uncovering the truth through journalism.

Hoping to make changes in society is what motivates Archie B. Rogers who graduated at the top of his class and was a Lift-Liberia scholar – a support program for future leaders in Liberia. Rogers explains that while his mother was committed to making sure that her children received the best possible education, he saw that many of his peers were not as lucky. “I was born and raised in Liberia, which happens to be one of the poorest countries in Africa … many of my peers did not complete their education, only because their single parents couldn't afford it.”

Northwestern Qatar’s courses in digital media studies and the Media Innovation Lab, were especially appealing to Khalifa Al Kuwari, a Qatari national who has already developed a mobile game ‘Jumbo,’ which debuted during the 2019 Ajyal Film Festival’s Geekdom.

“NU-Q provides the fundamental tools and support to expand upon a student’s interests in a very professional and comfortable academic environment, giving students the ability and knowledge to create powerful and meaningful stories in many shapes and forms,” he said. “In the future, I hope to continue improving and expanding upon my game development skills and combining it with my storytelling skills to create more immersive and detailed worlds in future projects for players to explore and experience.”

A Filipino national who grew up in Qatar, Andre Visperas, was enrolled in Northwestern Qatar’s Summer Media Program when he decided to join the school. “I just saw that there is this hub of creativity that I felt like I was a part of already even though I was just recently accepted and trying it out,” he said.

Excited to learn about storytelling through film and media, Visperas plans to combine his interests in producing, writing, and acting. “I hope to lead and direct NU-Q’s first musical production. I’m very much into musical theater,” he said, “so hopefully, during my time as a student, I will get the chance to direct a musical.”

Inspired by the work produced by students and alumni of Northwestern Qatar, Hania Shoeb, who is originally from Pakistan, hopes to become an investigative journalist. “Topics like climate change, racism, and sexual abuse are causes that are close to my heart and I deeply care about them and I strongly believe that with journalism I can bring attention toward them and help these causes with the right channels,” she said.

For Shoeb, the Northwestern community has been everything she expected and more - “surrounded by intellectual people with similar goals, as well as like-minded students. It’s definitely a proud identity for you, when you’re named a Wildcat it’s something to be proud of.”