Friday, December 23, 2011

Foreign universities in Qatar

A story* about University College London setting up an outpost in Qatar makes clear some of the difficulties, and how they are addressing them.

"For several years American institutions have been a part of Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifa University, the gas-rich Gulf state’s attempt to create a world-class institution in Doha. But now, in the surreal complex of buildings – some resembling giant white eggs, another an octagonal Aztec temple – the first British boxes of books are being unpacked.
"From August 2012, students will be able to enroll in master's courses at University College London Qatar. By focusing on archaeology and museum studies in a region where much of the study of antiquity is conducted, UCL thinks it can attract the caliber of academic needed to establish a credible center of research.
"Six American universities – Northwestern, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Texas A&M and Virginia Commonwealth – and one French business school, HEC Paris, have already set up shop at Hamad bin Khalifa University, which used to be known as Education City until it was renamed in May to honor Qatar’s Emir.
"How to convince the best academics to come to Doha "was one of the main questions when we talked to the U.S. universities three to four years ago," says Thilo Rehren, the director of UCL-Q, now in his new office on the second floor of Georgetown University’s state-of-the-art building. "They still have some problems recruiting good staff. They still have people at the end of their careers and others probably looking for a bit of sunshine," he says.

"For many subjects, for example the visual arts, Qatar is "not the center of the earth," Rehren acknowledges. But for museum studies, "it pretty much is," he argues. "You don’t have to fly seven hours to get to Syria or Egypt."
"So far, four faculty members are in situ. Later this year two Ph.D. students will fly in to join them, and they will be followed by three to five more in the course of the year. Over the next 12 months, the plan is to expand the number of research staff to eight, in addition to three postdoctoral students.

"All staff costs are covered by the Qatar Foundation and the Qatar Museums Authority. UCL is also going to train staff at the authority, who have "little formal training but years of experience," Rehren says."

*Times Higher Education, via Inside Higher Ed


Unknown said...

Hi,A foreign company which has a contract with the Government of Incorporation in Qatar or a quasi Government entity may register a branch office.Thanks....

Dunitz Sandrino said...

The recruitment process seems to be very aggressive in the international universiities in Qatar.