Marhaba interviews David Meaton, the principal of the new and upcoming City College Qatar, which welcomes its first class in September 2018.

City College Qatar is a new higher education college offering business programmes that lead students to an international specialist diploma and that can be an alternative route to a Bachelor’s degree – after two years at City College Qatar, students can enter into the final year at university.

This is possible because of the BTEC methodology that involves classes with more contact teaching, which will give the equivalent credits to be transferred to universities. The mission of City College is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that apply in their future, whether it is a professional career or the university pathway.

All courses are accredited by Pearson BTEC and licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar and the diploma is accepted by employees and over 750 universities overseas. The programmes include General Business Pathway and specialist business courses in Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Management and Operations and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

Tell us more about the partnership between the University of Portsmouth and City College Qatar.

The partnership agreement is called a Memorandum of Articulation and was agreed between City College and the University of Portsmouth after a detailed mapping of the curriculum taught here with the same-level programmes taught in Portsmouth. This is largely because BTEC Level 4 and 5 have a massive reputation as the global leader in vocational higher education and over 750 universities worldwide accept HND graduates into the final year of their honours degree.

Portsmouth offers a Bachelor’s degree whereas City College will offer only diplomas. How will the programmes meet? And will there be a chance for students at City College to continue their education at Portsmouth?

The agreement was set up to provide preferential entry for our students to Portsmouth but we are working on similar agreements with other universities in the UK and in Qatar to widen the progression choice for our students.

Tell us more about the importance of the presence of Portsmouth University and City College in the Middle East? What do they offer that other universities in the region don’t?

Portsmouth is already a very popular university amongst Middle Eastern students and we hope that City College will grow a reputation as a college of high quality to help students gain vital skills for a professional career in Business but progress to top world universities if that is their choice.

How will City College contribute to Qatar’s education sector, especially the higher education institution?

We bring something different with our focus on employability and practical skills as well as knowledge and understanding. The inclusion of competency alongside traditional learning offers access to higher education to enable students who are not necessarily academically minded in a traditional sense.

How can a vocational education contribute to national skills development in Qatar?

The modern global economy requires flexibility, resilience, team-working and critical thinking combined with practical skills to support theoretical knowledge. City College will always provide programmes linked to labour market intelligence and the job market. We will make every effort to include employers and skills sector groups in the development of our programmes.

What is your opinion in the significance of vocational learning in the education sector in the Middle East?

It is a crucial driving force for increasing educational and employment opportunities for many more people and closing the massive skills gap that exist between the Middle East and the West. The UAE has a unified qualifications framework and a regulatory organisation which monitors the quality of vocational education called ACTVET, which looks after the quality of TVET via Colleges of Higher Technology, Institutes of Applied Technology, ADVETI and Secondary Technical Schools. Saudi Arabia has created a network of technical colleges managed by TVTC and Colleges of Excellence nearly 100 colleges offering engineering, technology and Business.

The City College Qatar campus is located in the Barwa Commercial Avenue (Building 39). The Admissions Office is located in Palm Tower B, Al Dafna (Floor 37). For more information, visit, call 4019 8198 or email [email protected]

Author: Ola Diab

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