Under a five-year plan of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), at least three more private universities are expected to open in Qatar.

Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) has enhanced efforts to open new private universities in the country to enable more students to pursue their higher studies in the country.

Under a five-year plan of the MoEHE, at least three more private universities are expected to open in Qatar, giving students more options to pursue academic programmes of their choice, tailored to their budget.

One of the three new private universities set to open in Qatar in September 2021 is Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), which is located in Barwa City in Bu Hamour. The university will initially offer five academic programmes, including Science, Commerce, Arts, Languages, and Management Studies. 

In addition, this year, Arkansas State University has announced undergraduate and graduate degree programmes in Aspire Zone. Starting August 2021, citizens and residents of Qatar can take advantage of new undergraduate degree programmes in Digital Innovation and Engineering Management, including: Game Design, Graphic Communication, Mobile Application Development, Social Media Management, and Web Design. Students will take courses in real-time from professors at the main campus in the US. The curriculum will follow the same plan as taught in the US. In addition to these two undergraduate degree programmes, Arkansas State University – Qatar will offer a Masters degree programme for teachers and school administrators in Educational Leadership. Areas to be covered in this degree programme include: Planning and Resource Allocation, Administration and Supervision of Special Education, Ethical Leadership, and Curriculum Management. astateqatar.com

Arkansas State University – Qatar

Higher education institutions offered 290 educational programmes for the 2019/20 academic year. According to MoEHE, Qatar University (QU), Community College of Qatar (CCQ), College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q), and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) offer more than 66% of these programmes. 

In 2020, Qatar saw the opening of new local and international higher education institutions such as Lusail University, QFBA-Northumbria (QFBA-NU) University, and Oryx Universal College with Liverpool John Moores University.

There are currently more than 30 higher education institutions in Qatar, serving citizens and residents alike as well as attracting students from all over the world, especially within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Higher education institutions offer an expanding number of degrees, fields of study, and specialisations — from medicine to business, management, technology, and liberal arts. Programmes are offered in Arabic and English; however, most of the education in higher education institutions is offered in English to better serve a wider range of students.

In addition to the well-known higher education institutions such as QU, CNA-Q, CCQ and HBKU, there are other higher education institutions operating in Qatar: Qatar Aeronautical College, Ahmed bin Mohamad Military College, Al Zaeem Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Attiyah Air Academy, Joaan bin Jassim Joint Command and Staff College, Police College, University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), QFBA-Northumbria (QFBA-NU) University, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre (ROLACC) with the University of Sussex, Qatar Leadership Center (QLC) with Georgetown University, and Ras Laffan College for Emergency and Safety with the University of Central Lancashire.

There are branches of world-renowned higher education institutions, supported by Qatar Foundation (QF), including Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), HEC Paris in Qatar, and Weill Cornell Medical School in Qatar (WCM-Q).

Meanwhile, private higher education institutions include Stenden Qatar University of Applied Sciences, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), AFG College with the University of Aberdeen, University Foundation College (UFC), City University College (CUC), Oryx Universal College with Liverpool John Moores University, Lusail University, and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).

For more information on universities in Qatar, see the Education in Qatar section.

Qatar established its first higher education institution, the College of Education, in 1973, which became Qatar University (QU) in 1977. At that time, QU hosted 173 students: 93 women and 57 men. The university has since experienced rapid growth and today stands at the centre of Qatar’s education reform strategy, with more than 20,000 multinational students. 

To expand the higher education offerings in Qatar and to invest more in innovative research and development (R&D), the former Amir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani along with his wife HH Sheikh Moza bint Nasser, established Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) – a semi-private chartered, non-profit organisation made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development – in 1995. QF’s mandate was strengthened under QNV 2030 to serve as a driving force in the development of Qatar’s citizens, with the aim of unlocking human potential. QF’s flagship Education City has since become a major focal point in the country’s education sector.

The reforms and investment in the education sector are aligned with the goals of QNV 2030, which seeks to transform Qatar into ‘an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for all of its people’. QNV 2030 defines the desired outcomes for the country by 2030 and provides a framework within which sector strategies and implementation plans have been developed. The national vision addresses major challenges facing Qatar through four interconnected pillars, with education playing a role in all of them. 

Education features prominently in QNV 2030 and the National Development Strategy as a critical driver for the country’s transition into a knowledge-based economy, which is just one indicator of the importance the state places on the catalytic role of education. In parallel, the government has also invested heavily in developing the physical infrastructure and the human capital required to support the sector. The leadership has made a substantial investment in education of QAR22 bn in 2020.

As part of the five-year plan, more universities are expected to open within the next few years.

Author: Ola Diab

This is an editorial from Marhaba Information Guide – M81.

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