Qatar Airways (QA) held a pre-departure event for a group of Qatari students selected from a competitive pool of applicants for the airline''s newly-launched national scholarship programme. The event oriented students and families on the higher educational environment in Qatar and abroad. The aim was to prepare the students as they enter a new chapter in their lives, the national carrier said in a media statement Wednesday. The QA National Scholarship Programme aims to support talented Qatari high school graduates in their education, to develop a repertoire of skills required by the airline and to guide them towards becoming future leaders. The attendees of the event titled ''Your Journey Begins'' comprised a number of dignitaries from diplomatic and educational circles, Qatari students, their families and senior management from the airline. QA Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker congratulating the Qatari scholarship students, said, "We are delighted to have selected a pool of highly-competitive Qatari individuals, and are confident that they will excel in their university studies in the US, the UK as well as here in Qatar. "Qatar Airways is a forward-looking company, which understands the value of identifying our country’s brightest students, who are the pride and joy of our nation. We are giving these local talents the opportunity to be part of their national carrier''s success story, and in return Qatar Airways will benefit from the competitive edge the young academics will provide the company in the long run." The airline grants 50 scholarships annually. This year 25 applicants were eligible for the unique scheme. The rigorous selection process only permits the most gifted students to be granted the scholarship as applicants need to possess a wide range of key qualities in order to be chosen. Al Baker emphasised the importance of the scheme in view of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which underscores education and investment in the country’s local talent as key for the country’s long-term success.