College of the North Atlantic – Qatar celebrated its eighth graduation ceremony yesterday evening at Sheraton Doha with its Class of 2012, which comprised 248 graduates, including 118 Qatari nationals and students from 25 other countries. CNA-Q president Dr Ken MacLeod, was joined by Qatar University president Prof Sheikha al-Misnad, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Child, Youth & Family Services, Charlene Johnson, CNA Canada president Ann Marie Vaughan, College Executive, faculty, and families of the graduates. “The vocational education and the success you gained will increase your responsibility,” Prof al-Misnad told the graduates while reminding them that the development in Qatar is a vital process and will grant each one an opportunity to contribute to the country. “The 2030 vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani created a Strategic National Plan for development in all sectors. Looking at the variety of programmes that CNA-Q delivers, I am sure that you are well qualified, and trained, for your future.” Valedictorians Rashid Hussein Shaik (School of Engineering Technology) and Nizi Nazar (School of Business Studies), shared their experiences at CNA-Q over the past years. “Graduation is an achievement that reflects dedication, devotion and perseverance that will help us someday in making our beautiful dreams a reality,” said Shaik. Asserting that “We are now professionals in our chosen fields,” he added that “Soon we will choose paths which will take us one step closer to our destination.” Nizi thanked CNA-Q for allowing the graduates to succeed and shine and to learn the important aspects of life. “Our class has so much to be proud of. We are talented, driven, charismatic, and confident and have the perseverance to meet our goals.” The Class of 2012 comprises graduates from four programme areas such as Health Sciences, Engineering, Information Technology and Business Studies. The graduates represent programmes ranging from Office Administration to Mechanical Engineering Technology, Environmental Health Technology to Computer Support Specialist. Each department within the College was represented at the ceremony. Health Sciences had 40 graduates; Engineering Technology 76; Information Technology 28; and Business Studies had the largest graduating class with 104 students. Of the 248 graduates, 106 are sponsored students from 19 different companies. In addition to their certificates and diplomas, 24 students were presented with the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence. This award is presented to the student in each programme area with the highest grade point average (with a minimum average of 3.5 out of 4.0) Minister Johnson, who brought greetings on behalf of the provincial government, described the graduation as an important milestone in the students’ lives. “This will lead you to new and exciting experiences as you prepare to enter the workforce, or continue your post-secondary studies,” she said. The youngest woman ever elected to serve in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, Minister Johnson pointed out that her government deems education as one of its highest priorities. “We are extremely proud of the partnership that has been built with the Qatari government and the campus in Qatar,” she said while adding that CNA-Q is producing highly skilled graduates who will help diversify and strengthen the economy of Qatar around the world. Echoing Minister Johnson’s belief in the strength of CNA-Q’s success, Prof al-Misnad said that the relationship between Qatar University and CNA-Q is one of partnership and co-operation. “We congratulate CNA-Q on its continued success and on the reputation it has built for high quality student-centred education.” CNA-Q’s graduating class joins over 3,000 colleagues at College of the North Atlantic (Canada) as part of the Class of 2012. They join over 2,700 Alumni in Qatar and over 16,000 in Canada.