Qatar is preparing a new draft law on higher education policies and licensing of institutions and their programmes.
Only universities within the top 300 in worldwide ranking will be allowed to open branches or campuses in Qatar under a new draft law, according to a top official.
The Gulf nation has prepared a new draft law on higher education policies, the governance and licensing of higher education institutions, and their oversight and programmes.
According to the Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Khalid Al Ali, the draft law is in its final stages and will be issued soon after the completion of the legislative process, he told Qatar News Agency.
Al Ali said that the education ministry assumed the responsibility of general supervision and served as a general umbrella for higher educational institutions while preserving the independence of universities through their boards of directors, which usually include a representative from the ministry.
Currently, there are 34 higher education institutions in the country, including governmental, semi-governmental, private, and security and military bodies, attended by 40,000 students.
To ensure the quality of educational programmes in Qatar, Law No. 31 of 2020 was issued to establish the National Commission for Qualifications and Academic Accreditation.
However, this is a separate committee from the education ministry’s licensing body and carries out governance and review of the work of universities after a period of their opening and operation.
Al Ali also noted that the admission requirements for any educational institution wishing to open a branch in Qatar have been raised to be among the best 300 universities in the world, according to the international assessment of universities.
There are three international rankings used: the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the QS classification, and the Shanghai Jiao Tong classification.
Any university that meets the criteria of being among the best 300 universities in these rankings has the right to apply to open a branch in Qatar often with a Qatari partner or investor, provided that it uses the same programmes applied in the parent university and grants the same certificates and conditions when accepting students.
With the draft law, Qatar is further strengthening its higher education sector and ensuring the quality of educational programmes offered in the country.