Post-secondary facilities in Qatar are expanding to ensure the development of a well-educated, dedicated and innovative workforce, while acknowledging not all students wish to pursue a degree course. A variety of university scholarships are also available for nationals, expatriates and those residing outside Qatar.
There are private tertiary education institutions in Doha (full-time, part-time and through distance learning). A year’s full-time study at a branch campus of a foreign university in Qatar generally costs in excess of QAR100,000. Some scholarships may be available.
Embassies and cultural centres generally have details of distance-learning courses, and often have an educational adviser, provide assistance with overseas university applications, and/or act as examination centres for overseas exams (see Foreign Embassies in the Discovering Qatar section).
A QAR2.5 bn Police College in Doha, established by Amiri Decree in 2013, offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in law and police science in Arabic. However, the college’s Supreme Council (chaired by the Minister of Interior) has the right to allow one or more subjects in a foreign language. Non-Qatari students who obtain scholarships from their own countries can also apply. The first 130 students were admitted in August 2014.
The recently opened AFG College with the University of Aberdeen in Doha shows the continually expanding educational opportunities students in the country have. abdn.ac.uk
Technical colleges and training programmes
While encouraging graduate and post-graduate studies, Qatar acknowledges that many students – boys in particular – are often attracted to jobs for school leavers in the army, police, the civil service or the hydrocarbons industry.
Consequently, the Minister for Education and Higher Education and Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education authorised the development of a strategic plan with three objectives:
- To establish national vocational and technical competency standards for Qatar.
- To work in conjunction with the Higher Education Institute to integrate vocational and technical qualifications into a National Qualifications Framework.
- To establish specially designed vocational technical training facilities capable of providing internationally accredited competency standards that suit the needs of the Qatari labour market.
Community College of Qatar (CCQ)
Established by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in 2010, the Community College of Qatar (CCQ) has become one of the most diverse higher education institutions in Qatar, with more than 410 faculty members and staff from around 30 different countries.
CCQ is an open admissions institution that offers a number of associate and bachelor degree programmes that meet the needs of the labour force in Qatar. Among them are two-year Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree programmes for students wishing to transfer to four-year universities, high demand 2+2 Associates and Bachelor degree programmes, and two-year Associate of Applied Arts and Applied Science degree programmes. CCQ also offers short-term continuing education and marketable skills certificates for those that wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills to help them become more marketable in the job market. In addition, CCQ has partnered with a number of local and international four-year universities in order to provide students with the opportunity to seamlessly transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor degree without losing any of their coursework.
City College is a higher education institution in Qatar that offers recognised UK degrees in Doha licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Through its vocational and university pathways, City College offers alternative routes to university and work, both for full-time high-school students as well as part-time evening workers.
The vocational pathway is a two-year programme that leads to a Higher National Diploma with transferable credits that allow students to further proceed with a final year of university study. The Diploma is accredited by the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) in the UK and awarded by Pearson Education. BTEC programmes offered at City College include: Business, Computing, and International Travel and Tourism Management.
City College also offers a third and final year leading to a Bachelor degree awarded by Ulster University, a British University. After finishing their Higher National Diploma with merit, students can transfer to a third year of study at City College and get their degree from Ulster University, or choose to transfer their credits to a university of their choice within a list of 339 universities worldwide.
Qatar Aeronautical College (QAC)
Qatar Aeronautical College (QAC) was founded in 1975 as the Civil Aviation College of the Gulf States, with assistance from the United Nations Development Program. It changed its name in 1996 to Qatar Aeronautical College, and its programmes have now expanded to include training not just for airline pilots but also for aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, meteorologists, airport operations management personnel and flight dispatchers. Qatari high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 24 are eligible to apply for trainee positions sponsored by Qatar Airways, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, etc. Qataris and other nationals may also apply to join on a fee-paying basis. qac.edu.qa C5
Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA)
Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA) was established in 2009 under the auspices of Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) to raise the financial services industry standards and help organisations and professionals achieve their learning and business objectives, thus aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030. QFBA’s vision is to be the partner of choice for the financial sector in Qatar. It was set up with the intention to create a Qatar-based learning and development organisation for delivering pragmatic and innovative financial services education. Their programmes benefit entry-level to senior level executives within the sectors of banking, asset management, capital markets and insurance. QFBA has a mandate to enhance the training and competency standards in Qatar’s financial sector. qfba.edu.qa B4
Qatar International Beauty Academy (Tajmeel)
Qatar International Beauty Academy (Tajmeel) is Qatar’s first and only beauty and hair training academy. Tajmeel was founded by Nama (prev. Social Development Center) in 2009, offering a wide range of full and part-time courses and workshops for personal and professional interest, obtainable in the fields of make-up, hairdressing, beauty, body, and holistic massage. The International Certificate and Diplomas of CIDESCO, ITEC, CIBTAC, City and Guilds and VTCT offered at Tajmeel are Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications which are equivalent to IGCSE – A level, and higher national diplomas which can in turn qualify the holder to apply to various universities and colleges. qiba.com.qa C4
Qatar Skills Academy
Qatar Skills Academy is an internationally recognised vocational training provider. It offers qualifications for occupations in a range of sectors, working directly with employers to improve quality and productivity through the careful analysis, design and implementation of skills development and training. The Academy is an approved Centre of Edexcel, the UK’s largest awarding body, an approved Microsoft Academy, an authorised centre for IATA and associated with many health and safety certified associations in the UK. A wide range of courses are offered.
University Foundation College
University Foundation College is a new dynamic private British college, licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The College brings to Qatar ‘UK bridging’ programmes in business, humanities, engineering and science pathways developed and accredited by the Northern Consortium of UK universities (NCUK). NCUK is globally recognised for its programmes developed collaboratively with the 16 NCUK Partner Universities.
The college also houses SI-UK Qatar; SI-UK is the leading provider of independent advice and support to international students applying to study in the UK. SI-UK Qatar is part of a global network of 23 offices, which have helped tens of thousands of international students join UK universities. As an official UCAS centre, SI-UK Qatar are the first and the only to be licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to help guide students through every step of the university application process.