Qatar, like any other Gulf State, has been promoting education and encouraging high school fresh graduates to resume their university studies. Therefore, it sent students who have the desire to complete their studies abroad, particularly Europe and the U.S., because University of Qatar was suffering from a shortage of some areas of specializations meanwhile.
The wheel of development in Qatar covered different fields, one of which is education. H.H. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, consort of the Emir of Qatar and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, inaugurated branches of elite international universities at Doha. So, 1,000 hectares in the Capital have been earmarked for embracing these university premises.
The Japanese architect, Arata Isozaki, led the march of urban planning of the Education City as he participated in designing many spectacular and future buildings. But he was not satisfied with the area of land agreed upon in advance, so he requested for more land adjacent to the project in order to achieve his expansionist vision for many years. He expanded the area of buildings, green spaces with multiple uses, students housing and Education Department, as well as the entertainment services. Who would even like to study in boring, traditional buildings?!
Campus includes 7 international universities, with the possibility of future continuous expansion, which are until writing these lines, as follows:
1. Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar offers programs in Arts and Design.
2. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) offers a six-year integrated program of study; a two-year pre-medical program, followed by a four-year medical program leading to an MD degree.
3. Texas A & M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) offers undergraduate programs in Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.
4. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar offers programs in Computer Science, Business and Information Systems.
5. Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar offers programs in International Affairs.
6. Northwestern University in Qatar offers programs in Journalism and Communication.
7. The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS); an international centre for Islamic thinking and dialogue, offers a postgraduate program in Islamic Studies and a Masters degree in Contemporary Fiqh, and is committed to enhancing research into Islamic culture.
Except as the aforementioned universities, there are other international universities in Qatar, but they do not follow the Education City from the regulatory aspect, such as, for example:
1. Stenden University Qatar offers programs in International Tourism Management, International Hospitality Management, and International Business Management
2. University of Calgary – Qatar offers Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degrees.
Students from all over the world meet together in the campus of the Education City. Qatari students represent almost half of the total students and the rest from 45 different nationalities. Some of them are residing in the Qatar State and others are sent by their countries or in the context of students exchange. What wonderful cultural blending!
The number of students from the G.C.C. countries comparing to their counterparts from other nationalities is few, however it is going to increase. A Kuwaiti friend told me that her family refused to send her to the U.S. to study fashion design though she met the scholarship requirements set by her country because her parents insisted that separation from one's native country is difficult, especially for a girl! Now, she is studying at the Virginia Commonwealth University- Doha under the consent of her parents as living in Qatar and the Gulf States are identical along with easy transportation and geographical proximity.
The experience of study in the U.S.A.- for example– provides the student with much experience in various aspects of life! Some believe that traveling for thousand miles to study in elite and prominent universities is worth some sacrifice. After all access to academic degree from these universities is the key to a bright and promising future academically and professionally. Here in Qatar, we cut those distances and brought such international universities to Doha to become a beacon for education in the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East. Moreover, Education City embraces the students who look for a unique experience of its kind in an academic atmosphere that is not limited to education but also opens student's prospects to research where there are research centers in multiple interests, entertainment where there are theaters and musical bands, and practice sport, as well as acknowledge with cultures of peoples through mixing with students from different countries of the world in one place in the city of education in Doha.
I invite fresh graduates to apply admission to a university of the Education City where they can register for the next fall semester.
For more information, visit www.qf.org.qa
– Fahad Al-Maawda.