Comparisons between Education City, Qatar University spark controversy

Last week’s lavish graduation ceremonies for Education City students have sparked bitter feelings among some Qatar University students who say they are getting short shrift. 

The complaints, which have been circulating on Twitter all week, have been amplified in two Arab-language dailies by columnists who say Qatar treats its college students unequally. 

In an Al Sharq piece, Mariam Al Khater rues the “elitism” of American universities and the opportunities available to its graduates compared to the standards set by QU.

The Peninsula reports:

“Are these universities (at Education City) elitist and sophisticated? As if these universities are from another planet,” wrote Al Khater. “QU students feel themselves to be outcasts.”

…There are efforts to create a wedge in society and have two social classes, one that has access to ‘elite private educational institutions’ while the other, the people at large have access only to government educational institution (implying Qatar University), she said.

The difficulties of navigating the campus during Qatar’s hotter months (the buildings are not interconnected) and the harsh grading of some professors were also mentioned in another Al Sharq column this week.

Things heated up further when yesterday, an EC graduate wrote in Al Arab that her commencement ceremonies were much better than her sister’s, who had graduated from QU a year before.

Meanwhile, a Twitter account called @QuFail has attracted nearly 2,000 followers who complain about everything from insufficient air conditioning services and parking to QU’s long-standing admissions policies, which after being criticized for being too stringent and not accepting enough students, have been relaxed this year. 

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Qatar Foundation on Facebook

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