Meet Evren Tok, Regional Academic Coordinator for HBKU in Doha

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Development | 0 comments

The Development Policies and Practices Executive Programme is organised in partnership with five different academic institutions: Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, DESCO in Lima, University of Ghana Business School in Accra, Yam Pukri in Ouagadougou and Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha. These institutional partnerships maintain the connection between the hubs and Geneva and make the programme unique.

HBKU and the DPP Programme established a partnership in 2018. Evren Tok is the Associate Dean for Community Engagement and our Regional Academic Coordinator for HBKU in Doha. He is the point of contact for the Geneva Graduate Institute, supports the selection of students and professors, the development of the curriculum, and oversees some of the courses.

How did the partnership between HBKU and the Geneva Graduate Institute start in 2018?

The inception of the distinguished partnership between the Geneva Graduate Institute (GGI) and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), specifically its College of Public Policy, was a serendipitous confluence of strategic outreach and fortuitous networking. Under the leadership of Alexandre Dormeier Freire, the GGI delegation’s exploratory mission in Doha was enriched by a recommendation from one of my esteemed former students at HBKU, who was also an alumnus of the Development Policies and Practices programme in Bishkek. This recommendation to engage with HBKU was not merely a suggestion but a catalyst, forging an alliance that we hold in high regard today.

Why are partnerships between academic institutions like the one between the Geneva Graduate Institute and HBKU important for the academic sector?

This collaboration stands as a testament to the power of interdisciplinary synergy and application. It epitomises the essence of academic excellence, setting a benchmark for how diverse contexts can collaboratively foster unique, invaluable experiences. These experiences are indispensable in our collective endeavour to address the multifaceted challenges of our contemporary global landscape.

What do you enjoy the most about your role as regional academic coordinator?

My engagement with the programme has been profoundly gratifying, from the recruitment phase, where we meticulously review applications from across the Middle East and North Africa, to the vibrant interaction with candidates alongside Dr Alaa Tartir. Each phase unveils a tapestry of diversity, narratives, and aspirations. The initial online session marks our first encounter, a precursor to the transformative Doha module. This three-week intensive allows us to immerse ourselves in the lives of 18-20 young professionals, each dedicated to making a meaningful impact in the development realm. The countless dialogues, brimming with inspiration and insight, are invaluable. They allow us to delve into the struggles, objectives, and stories of these individuals, intertwining their journeys with ours.

What should students look forward to the most when the DPP programme starts in Doha in August?

The philosophy underpinning our approach encourages students to embrace intellectual humility – to unlearn and relearn with an open heart and mind. We advocate for a clean slate, embarking on a novel journey transcending conventional boundaries. GGI and HBKU collectively strive to enrich our students’ academic and professional landscapes. We urge them to harness the full spectrum of opportunities the Doha module offers, transcending classroom learning to include fieldwork and institutional visits. This holistic approach is an educational paradigm and a transformative experience that prepares them to navigate and contribute to the world with renewed perspectives and vigour.

Interested in joining our Development Policies and Practices Programmes? Apply now on our website.


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The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Graduate Institute, Geneva.

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