Rostron, Magda (PhD alumna)

Hi All,

I’m Magda and a hopeful/prospective PhD student at the School of Education. I come from Poland, my husband is English, we have two children, and are working in Doha, Qatar, Arabian Gulf. I hold an MA in English Literature and TEFL from Warsaw University.

In my doctoral research, I’m planning to focus on classroom cultures and appropriate methodology in the TESOL context of the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) where I teach literature and essay writing to pre-university Qatari and international students. In the course of this academic year, when I studied at the School of Education on a distance learning basis, I was introduced to Holliday’s approach to classroom culture via the framework of small cultures and the host institution complex. The approach makes a lot of sense in the ABP environment with its multiple institutional connections and diverse student population.     

The ABP is part of Qatar Foundation’s Education City (EC) and it operates as a feeder programme preparing local students for entry into English language universities in the country and abroad. To date, six American universities, contracted by the Qatar Foundation, have set up branch campuses in EC: Texas A&M (engineering), Weill Cornell Medical College, Virginia Commonwealth University’s (design), Carnegie Mellon (business, computer), Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (international relations), and Northwestern University (journalism and media).

Last year, I published an article about Education City and its cultural setting. It’s called “Liberal Arts Education in Qatar: Intercultural Perspectives”, in Intercultural Education 20/3 (2009). 219-229. The article was based on a paper I wrote for a conference in Warsaw two years ago (Celebrating the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Theory & Practice in Intercultural Education, Warsaw, 30/06– 3/07 2008, International Association of Intercultural Education).

I have also written a chapter on the Qatar Foundation for a book published in Poland,  “Panstwo Katar – Gospodarka, Polityka, Kultura” (“The State of Qatar – Economy, Politics, Culture”), ed. K. Gorak-Sosnowska and R. Czulda, Lodz: Ibidem, 2009.

Below is a list of some of the papers and presentations on educational issues in the Qatari context that I’ve delivered over the last few years:

Reading Kafka in Qatar – presentation for MUN advisers at the GU MUN conference in Doha, January 2010;

 Student Motivation in Qatari Educational Settings – presentation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, October 2008;

Liberal Arts Education in Qatar – paper at Intercultural Education Conference, Warsaw University, Warsaw, July 2008;

Significance of Co-curricular Activities in Motivating Students – co-presentation at  TESOL-Qatar Conference, the College of the North Atlantic, Doha, Qatar, April 2008;

The Love of Learning; the Joy of Reading – paper at mini-TESOL conference, Qatar, Education City, January 2008;

Optimizing Arab Students’ Performance through Debating and MUN – co-authored paper at The Gulf 2007 Conference, the University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, July 2007;

Culture and Academic Integrity – presentation at a series of working lunches on Cultural Perceptions of Plagiarism, Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, April 2007;

Qatari Students’ Motivation to Learn – presentation at a series of working lunches on Enhancing Student Motivation, Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, April 2006.

Here is a link to a very interesting article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

It’s quite impressive how India is expanding and globalising education.



  • That would be great, thanks, Lou!


  • Hi Magda,

    Richard tells us you’re preparing to go to panel – feel free to ask me anything you like about it. I can also send you my proposal and presentation slides if you feel they’d be of any help to you..?


  • Magda Rostron

    I have just read an interesting article in the New York Times – written by an honorary research fellow at Manchester Uiversity. Check it out!


    RF editorial note: I have added this to the Miscellaneous discussion thread as it it is a bit lost here ….

  • Achilleas Kostoulas


  • Magdalena De Stefani

    Hi Magda, Richard, Achilleas

    Welcome Magda! Your works sounds fascinating, look forward to reading more about it.

    Ahhh, that technology competence scale… I used to think I was in the upper half, that is, until I became Julian’s communication strategy for the reflexivity thread 🙂

  • Magda Rostron

    As of today, I’m officially a current PhD student!

    I would like to say a big thank you to Richard and Julian for their great support and encouragement. And thank you to Achilleas, Magdalena and others for your comments and help.

    More later when I have managed to restrain and contain my excitement ;-)))


  • Magda Rostron

    Hi Tanya, hi Achilleas,

    Thanks for your responses. I’m still working out the mechanics of this blog… There may be another way of replying to you, but this is the quickest for now!

    Tanya – have been been to Qatar? Tell me more!

    Reading Kafka in Qatar is a somewhat ironical allusion to Nafisi’s book, Reading Lolita in Tehran – perverse because everything about the Qatari reading scene is different from what Nafisi described. The paper needs some editing – that’s probably one of my summer ideas.

    Achilleas, culturally and educationally, Education City is incredibly dynamic, with its different elements meeting, clashing, crashing and/or collaborating on a daily basis. I love it here. Yes, I’ve submitted my proposal.

  • Achilleas Kostoulas

    Hi Magda, and welcome. The Education City seems like a fascinating place to observe so many diverse cultures interacting with each other. Looking forward to reading more about it. Have you submitted a research proposal yet?

  • Tanya Halldorsdottir

    Hi Magda, and welcome to our community. I look forward to comparing Qatari experiences with you, and am most intrigued by your ‘Reading Kafka in Qatar’ paper!


  • Richard Fay

    Welcome Magda.