Hamad bin Khalifa University’s MA in Audiovisual Translation Validated by the University of Geneva

Hamad bin Khalifa University’s MA in Audiovisual Translation Validated by the University of Geneva

In the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of QF, officially announced the validation of its Master of Arts in Audiovisual Translation (MAAT) program by the University of Geneva on May 16th. With this endorsement, the program will be the second HBKU degree to be externally validated and receive a Faculty of Translation and Interpreting Quality Label.

Offered through HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), the MAAT program is designed to train specialists in the mediation of audiovisual texts, both for foreign-language viewers and sensory impaired audiences. Current students and alumni of the two-year program attended the ceremony at the Qatar National Convention Centre, as well as faculty and staff from the college, leadership from HBKU and QF, and a delegate from Geneva led by Dr. Stéphane Berthet, Secretary General of the University Geneva. Also in attendance were H.E. Ambassador of Spain in Qatar, Mr. Ignacio Escobar, Dean Laoucine Kerbache from HEC Paris in Qatar, and Mr. Urs Schnider -Deputy Head of Mission -Chargés d’Affaires, Embassy of Switzerland to Qatar, representing H.E  Etienne Thévoz , the Ambassador of Switzerland.

During the event, Dr. Ahmad M. Hasnah, President of HBKU, commented: “It is an honor for HBKU’s MA in Audiovisual Translation program to be awarded this validation from the University of Geneva. The university is committed to continuing to work and partner with other universities and institutions around the world as it builds a profile of academic and research excellence.”


The MAAT program joins HBKU’s MA in Translation Studies (MATS) in being awarded this distinction by the University of Geneva, with the MATS program obtaining the FTI Quality Label in 2014. During the certification process, the program underwent intensive examination and evaluation by a delegation of faculty and staff from the University of Geneva.

Founding Dean of HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki remarked on the achievement of the programs offered by the college: “The recognition by such a prestigious university distinguishes HBKU’s MAAT program as exemplary, not only locally, but also regionally and globally. When the program was launched two years ago, the curriculum was matched to FTI Quality Label’s specifications, and the focus kept on equipping students with the skills and training needed to excel in the field.”

HBKU’s CHSS aims to have local impact and contribute to the realization of Qatar National Vision 2030 by working closely with public institutions, NGOs, and the private sector to fill gaps in Qatar’s educational landscape. The field of audiovisual translation was new to Qatar and the Arab world when the program was launched in 2014, with this year’s MAAT graduates not only the first class in the country to possess a master’s degree in the field, but also the first class regionally to do so. HBKU’s unique program not only focuses on the technical translation-related skills required by experts who dub films and subtitle television programs, but also emphasizes audio description for visually impaired and hearing impaired audiences.

Dr. Josélia Neves, associate professor at the CHSS and chair of the local self-assessment committee for the validation, spoke at the event: “If I am to summarize our validation process in a nutshell, it is all about knowing who we are so as to become better. The intensive dialogue internally and with the validation committee from the University of Geneva has allowed us to be aware of our culture, both as a program and as an institution.”

“We often see ourselves as a family. This feeling of belonging underlines the humanistic and humane environment that MAAT shares and that is characteristic of HBKU. This process has also brought to the fore our culture as an academic institution, with a mission to educate professionals and researchers that will respond to the needs of the local and regional context, while positioning itself at an international level.”

“It is an honor to be validated by the University of Geneva as an academic program of international standard with the potential to be a reference for audiovisual translation in the Arab world.”

Dr. Al-Malki added: “The achievement provides a platform of opportunity for CHSS current and future students entering the global market, ensuring the first cohort from the MAAT program who graduated earlier this month will possess a degree endorsed by one of the world’s most renowned translation institutes.”