Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) began its tenth year of operations in the fall of 2017, fully ensconced in a new 515,000 square foot building, hailed as one of the world’s largest and most advanced communication and media centers where engaged innovation in teaching, research and thought leadership continues apace.
Designed by architect Antoine Predock, the building features the infrastructure of a television network and a Hollywood studio with a robotic newsroom, massive video installations, a state of the art cinema, black box theater and the largest sound stage in the region along with classrooms, auditorium, executive education center and even a digital museum, called the Media Majlis at NU-Q, which will open in September 2018.
A diverse, cosmopolitan student body from Qatar and 40 other countries comes to NU-Q to study media industries and technology as well as journalism and strategic communication imbedded in a liberal arts context. Graduates work in media industries, business, government, and other fields. Thirty-four percent of the first four graduating classes have matriculated for advanced study to the world’s top graduate schools, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard and London School of Economics.
The resident faculty is made up of media professionals, renowned scholars, and others including award-winning documentary and narrative filmmakers. The curriculum, modeled on and validated by Northwestern’s home campus, has also developed specialties in Middle East Studies, Media and Politics, Strategic Communication, and other specialties.
NU-Q is dedicated to the advancement of freedom of expression and independent media through its current undergraduate instruction with degrees granted by Northwestern’s home campus in the United States.
NU-Q also has a signature institutional research project, Media Use in the Middle East, now in its fifth year, the only longitudinal study of its kind in the world, and a partner in the World Internet Project. Along with the course Media Industries in the Middle East, NU-Q maintains an interactive website where these massive data sets are available to scholars, media professionals, and the public. (www.mideastmedia.org)
Northwestern University in Qatar carries out its work sensitive to local culture and traditions and fully conscious of the tensions separating tradition and modernity, while building connections to the realities of a digital and global society. Being at the epicenter of geopolitics and higher education has yielded great benefits for individuals, institutions, and society itself.