The public university’s announcement, once deemed as the only affordable option for residents in Qatar, has sparked backlash online.
Qatar University has hiked its undergraduate tuition rates for non-Qatari students, its post-graduate tuition rates for all students, and its fees for on-campus housing for incoming students, sparking backlash online.
According to the university’s statement, current students will not be affected by these increases, which only apply to new students who enrol in the university beginning in the fall of 2023.
However, the announcement applies to a range of course across the university and prompted reactions among students in Qatar, many of whom called the price increase “unwarranted” and said it will impact low-income families.
“Its already hard for me as a non-Qatari to get accepted into the university, and get into the major I want. The new medicine fees are not affordable for my family, and if I don’t get a scholarship, I’ll have to give up on my dream of becoming a doctor,” Mariam, a high school senior, told Doha News.
A local Twitter user said the increase in undergraduate fees for non-Qataris is unfair.
“This does not suit the salaries of the residents. Many of their salaries do not exceed QAR 5,000-8,000. This proves that these decisions are not studied. At the end, residents are humans who work and build the country alongside the citizens.”
Another user said the move will strike hardest at low and middle income residents.
“At a time when Qatar University is the only way for middle-income residents to educate their children after high school, it became burdensome and costly for them. In 2016, prices increased by 100%, and now they are raising the prices even more! It’s like they’re telling lower-income residents to not complete your education,” stated another user.
Meanwhile, another resident did the math for people.
“Imagine if you are studying a major in the Faculty of Arts, so the 3-hour course will cost you 3,300 riyals, sweet? If you take 6 courses in the semester, and each course is 3 hours, then you will get one semester of 19,800 riyals. In comfortable terms, the bachelor’s degree (for example, 4 years) will cost you approximately 160,000 riyals.”
Doha News reached out to Qatar University for a comment but has yet to receive a response.
The change in fees
The changes will result in new bachelor’s level tuition fees for the College of Education, College of Law, College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, and College of Arts and Sciences literary courses, totalling QAR 1,100 per hour.
The new rate is QAR 1,200 per hour for courses offered by the College of Administration and Economics, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the Program Foundation, and scientific courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.
The fees for courses at the College of Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, and the Arabic language programme for non-native speakers has increased to QAR 1,400 per hour.
The annual fees for students at the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry are now QAR 38,000 in the first year, and QAR 72,000 in the second and third years. The cost is QAR 108,000 for the fourth year, QAR 138,000 for each of the following two years.
According to the university, the tuition for students enrolled in the faculties of medicine and dentistry is approximative and depends on the courses for which the student has registered from the various faculties.
Master’s and doctoral programmes, postgraduate degree programmes, and the Doctor of Pharmacy programme all have hourly fees that have increased to QAR 2,200, with the exception of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, whose hourly fees have increased to QAR 2,600.
The cost of the Education Diploma Program courses have also increased to QAR 2,000 per hour.
For student housing fees, Qatar University said room fees have been adjusted according to their area and the number of room occupants, while maintaining the fees for small rooms for single occupancy as QAR 2,000 per month.
Three meals a day, accommodation and transportation to and from the different buildings and colleges on campus are all included in this fee.