Qatar

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Original Re.ViCa entry by Paul Bacsich. Major update to VISCED level by Nikos Zygouritsas of Lambrakis

For entities in Qatar see Category:Qatar


Contents

Partners situated in Qatar

None.

Qatar in a nutshell

(sourced from Wikipedia)

Qatar (Arabic: قطر ‎) officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر transliterated as Dawlat Qatar), is an Arab emirate in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise the Persian Gulf surrounds the state. An oil rich nation, Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world.

Sources say the name may derive from "Qatara", believed to refer to the Qatari town of Zubara, an important trading port and town in the region in ancient times.

In English-language broadcast media within Qatar — for example, television commercials for Qatar Airways and advertisements concerning economic development in Qatar — the name is pronounced "KA-tar", with a distinct differentiation between the syllables from the forming of the "t" sound.

In July 2007, the country had a growing population of approximately 900,000 people of whom approximately 350,000 were believed to be citizens. Of the citizen population, Sunni Muslims form a majority (almost all Qataris profess Islam), while the Shi'a Muslims count up to 10-13% of the population. The Wahhabi Muslims form the third group in size, probably no more than 10% of the population, to include the ruling dynasty and a large number of the elite families. The ancient Shia community of Qatar are historically related to the Shia majority in Bahrain and the al-Hasa coastal province of Saudi Arabia.

Besides ethnic Arabs, much of the population migrated from various nations to work in the country’s oil industry. Arabic serves as the official language. However, English as well as many other languages like Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, and Persian are widely spoken in Qatar.

Expatriates form the majority of Qatar’s residents. The petrochemical industry has attracted people from all around the world. Most of the expatriates come from South Asia and from non-oil-rich Arab states. Because a large percentage of the expatriates are male, Qatar has a heavily skewed sex ratio, with 1.8528 males per female.

The majority of the estimated 800,000 non-citizens are individuals from South and South East Asian and Arab countries working on temporary employment contracts in most cases without their accompanying family members. They are of the following faiths: Sunni Muslims, Shi'a Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Bahá'ís.

Qatar has the world's largest per capita production and proven reserves of both oil and natural gas. In 2010, Qatar had the world's highest GDP per capita, while the economy grew by 19.40%, the fastest in the world. The main drivers for this rapid growth are attributed to ongoing increases in production and exports of liquefied natural gas, oil, petrochemicals and related industries. Qatar has the second-highest human development in the Arab World after the United Arab Emirates. In 2009, Qatar was the United States’ fifth-largest export market in the Middle East, trailing behind the U.A.E., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. With a small citizen population of less than 300,000 people, Qatar relies heavily on foreign citizens, both for its protection and generating labour demand. Qatar has attracted an estimated $100 billion in investment, with approximately $60–70 billion coming from the U.S in the energy sector. It is estimated that Qatar will invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years.


Qatar education policy

Along with the country’s free health care to every citizen, every child has free education from kindergarten through high school.

The Supreme Education Council

Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani created, by decree number 37, the Supreme Education Council, which includes among its council members the Emir’s wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missnad. The council directs and controls education for all levels from the pre-school level through the university level, including the "Education for a New Era" Reform initiative.

Control of education is currently shared between the Ministry of Education and the Supreme Education council. Funding to the Ministry of Education has been reduced and many schools have been transferred to the Supreme Education Council. The Supreme Education Council is trying to improve the quality of secondary schools by creating Independent schools with greater control over their own affairs.

His Highness the Emir issued a decree in November 2002 that established three new institutions responsible for promoting excellence and innovation in primary, preparatory, and secondary schools in Qatar. The Supreme Education Council has overall responsibility for educational policy and for overseeing the reform. The Evaluation Institute is responsible for conducting periodic standardized assessment of students and providing information about school performance. The Education Institute develops and supports new Independent Schools and new curriculum standards to improve the quality of education.


Schools in Qatar

Education is free in Qatar. Students in government schools are provided books and transportation to and from schools. The 12-year public school system consists of a six-year primary cycle followed by a three-year secondary cycle and then a three-year tertiary cycle, taking students up through the secondary level by Western educational standards. Qatar follows a policy of compulsory education until the end of the elementary stage and free education to all citizens. Basic education consists of the following stages:

  • Elementary Stage - Six years
  • Preparatory Stage - Three years
  • Secondary Stage - Three years

From having only a few Quranic schools for boys in the early 1900s, Qatar's system of education has evolved into the comprehensive educational infrastructure that exists today. Both private and government schools offer preschool and primary education. At the primary level, there are around 160 schools in operation, following the Qatari educational curricula, or in the case of private schools, following curricula that will meet the needs of the various expatriate communities in the country. British, French, Norwegian, American, Filipino, Japanese, Indian, Bangladeshi, and other communities have schools that serve the needs of their respective members. The majority of these private schools coordinate closely with educational authorities in the home countries of their constituents, and the standard of education in these private schools is generally high. The following is a sampling of private schools providing education at the preschool and/or primary levels: Al Hilal Kindergarten, Bright Future Pakistani School, Central English-Speaking Kindergarten, Gulf School, Doha Montessori, Ideal Indian School, Tinkerbell Nursery, French School, Iranian School, Phillipine School of Doha, and QAFCO Norwegian School. Not only do these schools cater to the expatriate community, but because many nationals choose to enroll their children in an English-language school so as to enhance their children's fluency in English, a substantial number of national students are served in the private schools of Qatar.

The secondary level of education in Qatar comprises—according to the national education classification system—the secondary and tertiary cycles, taking students up to the age of 18, equivalent to the completion of secondary education by Western standards. Both the secondary and tertiary cycles are three years in length, and by the time students complete these cycles they are ready for entry into the University of Qatar for further studies. There are about 34 secondary schools in Qatar, including government schools such as the Technical Institute, the Religious Institute, and the Secondary School of Commerce. There are also a number of private schools at the secondary level, for example, the Doha College, based on the British system of education up to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and A-levels. The American School in Qatar offers an American curriculum at the secondary level. Other schools offering secondary-level schooling include the Pak Shama School (with the Pakistan Education Center), the Doha English Speaking School, the Jordanian School, the Middle East International School, the Park House English School, the Qatar Academy, and the Qatar International School.

International Schools

There is a large number of private and international schools. Most expatriates and some Qataris choose to send their children to these schools. These schools include Qatar Academy (IB World School), Doha College (UK curriculum), American School of Doha, The Gulf English School (UK / IB curriculum), Doha Academy, Doha English Speaking School (UK primary curriculum), The International School of Choueifat, The Cambridge School, Dukhan English School, Park House English School, Compass International School, Qatar International School (National Curriculum for England) and a few more. Last but not the least, there is a Dutch university in Doha called Stenden University(Former CHN University of Professional Education). It has been around in Doha for about 10 years. It offers four year bachelor degrees (BBA) in International Hospitality Management, International Business & Management Studies, and Tourism Management. Its programs are fully accredited by the Ministry of Education, Qatar.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. Under Qatar Foundation’s umbrella are Education City which comprises elite universities, several academic and training programs and Qatar Science and Technology Park which boasts more than 21 world class companies involved in scientific research and development. Qatar Foundation has also launched the World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE - a global forum that brings together education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues. The first edition was held in Doha, Qatar from November 16th to 18th 2009, the second from December 7th to 9th 2010. The third edition will be held from November 1st to 3rd 2011.


Higher education in Qatar

Students graduating from high school today are entering an increasingly competitive, rapidly changing global society. To meet the new demands of the 21st century, students will need to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge. Increasingly, higher education will serve as the driving force for students to gain these skills and knowledge needed to succeed. The Supreme Education Council’s Higher Education Institute recognizes the fundamental role higher education will play in enabling Qatar’s youth and the entire nation to prosper.

Through a variety of scholarship programs, the Higher Education Institute is encouraging Qatar’s youth to pursue higher education and helping prepare them for the rigors they will face in applying to and attending the top colleges and universities around the world. It is working to help students advance their dreams, explore their interests and improve their abilities, while addressing the evolving needs of Qatar’s labor market.

Education City

Education City is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Located on the outskirts of Doha, the capital of Qatar, Education City covers 14 square kilometers and houses educational facilities from school age to research level and branch campi of some of the world's leading universities. Education City aims to be the center of educational excellence in the region, instructing students in fields of critical importance to the Gulf Cooperation Council region. It is also conceived of as a forum where universities share research and forge relationships with businesses and institutions in public and private sectors. Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned was a driving force behind the foundation and construction of Education City.

Six US universities have branch campuses at Education City. They are:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar School of the Arts (VCUQ). Founded in 1998, VCUQ has offered students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (4 years) in fashion design, graphic design, interior design or painting and printmaking as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in Design Studies (2 years).
  • Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q). The Medical College was established by Cornell University in 2001 and offers a two-year pre-medical program followed by the four-year medical program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree.
  • Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ). TAMUQ was established in 2003 and offers undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering.
  • Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q). CMU-Q has since 2004 offered undergraduate degrees in business, computer science programs, and as of 2007 an undergraduate degree in information systems.
  • Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar). SFS-Qatar has, since 2005, offered a four-year program leading to a bachelor's degree in foreign service.
  • Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) began degree programs in journalism and communication in fall 2008.

One French university and one UK university also have branch campuses at Education City:

  • HEC Paris began offering graduate executive education programs for mid-career and senior executives in 2011.

• University College London in Qatar (UCL-Q) will begin to offer its postgraduate qualifications in the areas of museum studies, conservation and archaeology in 2011.

It also has one Qatar university:

  • Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS). It began in 2007 by offering a Masters degree in Islamic Studies.[1]

In light of similar arrangements recently made between Abu Dhabi and institutions such as INSEAD, New York University and Université Paris-Sorbonne, observers have noted that while the oil-rich Persian Gulf nations may be using their wealth to buy prestige through these marquee universities, the presence of these Western institutions may have a liberalizing impact on the culturally conservative region.

Other educational centers located at Education City include:

  • Qatar Academy. QA offers an international education for boys and girls from preschool to university entrance. Qatar Academy is fully accredited by the U.S.-based New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Europe-based Council of International Schools.
  • The Learning Center. This is a school for students who have average or above average potential but have experienced academic problems; it assists students in developing compensatory skills for their individual learning differences.
  • Academic Bridge Program. Established in 2001, this center offers a university-preparatory program and aims to equip specially selected, top-caliber secondary school graduates for admission to degree programs of both Qatar Foundation's Education City campuses and other world-class universities.


Universities in Qatar

Qatar University

Qatar University is an intellectual and scholarly community characterized by open discussion, the free exchange of ideas, respectful debate, and a commitment to rigorous inquiry. All members of the University - faculty, staff, and students - are expected to advance the scholarly and social values embodied by the university.

Qatar University shall be a model national university in the region, recognized for high-quality education and research and for being a leader of economic and social development. Qatar University is the national institution of higher education in Qatar. It provides high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare competent graduates, destined to shape the future of Qatar. The university community has diverse and committed faculty who teach and conduct research, which address relevant local and regional challenges, advance knowledge, and contribute actively to the needs and aspirations of society.

In 1973, having foreseen education as a principle contribution to its expanding society, the Emir of Qatar issued a decree proclaiming the establishment of Qatar's first national College of Education. Among a small population, the college admitted a respectable 57 male and 93 female students in its first year. After several semesters, rapid development of the country made it necessary to expand upon the College of Education to accommodate new areas of specialization. In 1977, Qatar University was founded with four colleges: Education; Humanities and Social Sciences; Sharia, Law, and Islamic Studies; and Science. By 1985, two additional colleges, Engineering and Business and Economics, had been established.

At present, Qatar University is comprised of seven colleges; the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business & Economics, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Law, College of Pharmacy, and the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies.


Other foreign universities and colleges

Two Canadian institutions, the College of the North Atlantic and the University of Calgary, also operate campuses in Doha.

Moreover,Stenden University Qatar (Former CHN University of Professional Education) has been around in Doha for 8 years. It offers four year bachelor degree programmes (BBA) in International Hospitality Management, International Business & Management Studies, and Tourism Management. It is a Dutch university and its programs are fully accredited by Ministry of Education, Qatar.


Polytechnics in Qatar

No information.

Higher education reform

The Supreme Education Council directs and controls education for all ages from the pre-school level through the university level, including the “Education for a New Era” reform initiative - see http://www.english.education.gov.qa/

See also http://www.wes.org/ewenr/07may/feature.htm for more details.

The Emir’s second wife, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, has been instrumental in new education initiatives in Qatar. She chairs the Qatar Foundation, sits on the board of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, and is a major driving force behind the importation of Western expertise into the education system, particularly at the college level.


The Bologna Process

Administration and finance

Quality assurance

Information society

Towards the information society

Information society strategy

Qatar has a modern Telecommunication system centered in Doha. Tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat. People can call to Qatar using their submarine cable, satellite or using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol); however, Qtel has interfered with VoIP systems in the past, and Skype's website has been blocked before. Following complaints from individuals, the website has been unblocked; and Paltalk has been permanently blocked.

Qtel’s ISP branch, Internet Qatar, uses SmartFilter to block websites they deem inappropriate to Qatari interests and morality.

Vodafone, in partnership with Qatar Foundation, has been announced to be opening in Qatar in mid 2008.

Al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة‎, al-ğazīrä, [al.dʒaˈziː.ra], meaning “The Island”) is a television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, but has since expanded into a network of several specialty TV channels. Print media is going through expansion, with over 3 English dailies and Arabic titles. The magazine segment is dominated by Qatar Today, which is the country's only news, business monthly magazine. It is published by Oryx Advertising Co, which is the largest magazine publisher of the country. The group also brings out several titles like Qatar Al Youm, Qatar's only Arabic monthly business magazine, Woman Today, the only working women's magazine and GLAM, the only fashion title.


Virtual initiatives in Qatar

ictQATAR

ictQATAR, The Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology, is the policy making and regulatory body for information and communication technology in Qatar. ictQATAR’s mission is to promote the development of an advanced ICT society through infrastructure and human capital development, the delivery of e-services and the establishment of a regulatory environment that is conducive to sustainable growth and offers benefits all users.

ictQATAR and the Institute of Administration Development (IAD) launched the e-Learning Portal, a new online educational tool, in 2007. The e-Learning Portal gives Government employees, university students and the wider adult community access to 4000, cost-free, courses covering business and professional development, IT and computer software programs.

Courses are taught in Arabic, English or French using innovative multi-media materials with course accreditation from international institutes, such as the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Human resource managers and directors from Qatar’s public sector attended today’s portal unveiling, which has been spearheaded by ictQATAR to support economic development by connecting people to educational opportunities through information and communication technology.

However it seems that the focus is on schools.


Qatar Academy

Qatar Academy (QA) is one of the premier learning institutions in the Middle East. Founded in 1996, QA is an International Baccalaureate World School. A private non-profit organization, QA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. QA provides comprehensive, co-educational English programs from pre-school through to secondary level. QA places a strong emphasis on Arabic culture and language and Islamic Studies. This ensures that students retain an appreciation for traditions and values. QA is the only authorized IB World School implementing the PYP, MYP and IB Diploma programs in Qatar while developing its own standards-based curriculum with specific benchmarks and outcomes defined for each grade level. With highly qualified international staff, QA has the most advanced, up to date school facilities in the country, while students have the opportunity to choose from an outstanding program of extracurricular activities.


University of Qatar

For e-learning at the University of Qatar see http://math.arizona.edu/~atp-mena/conference/proceedings/Yousif_Mediated_Learning.doc


Lessons learnt

References

  1. Post-Secondary Education in Qatar: Employer Demand, Student Choice, and Options for Policy, by Cathleen Stasz, Eric R. Eide, Francisco Martorell with Louay Constant, Charles A. Goldman, Joy S. Moini, Vazha Nadareishvili, Hanine Salem, at http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG644.pdf. Summary in Tawasol (the Qatar University Educational Reform Journal), at http://www.qu.edu.qa/newsletters/tawasol/documents/tawasol_spring_08_eng.pdf
  2. Web-Based Learning in Qatar and the GCC States, by Alan S. Weber, Center for International and Regional Studies, Georgetown University, 2010, http://cirs.georgetown.edu/publications/papers/120276.html . This is a really good read including on the cultural issues and puts the lack of OER in Arab Middle East into context which ends up more reassuring than the recent UNESCO regional report on OER.



> Countries

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