Qatar University now has 12,000 students, its highest number since it opened 40 years ago.
This year, it accepted a record 4,000 students, 2,400 of whom are Qatari.
QU President Prof. Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad has told the Peninsula that the university accepts any Qatari student who makes the grade.
However, Prof. al-Misnad has told Doha News that the admittance of all Qatari students who reach certain entrance criteria is not a new policy.
“It has always been the case that all Qatari students who meet our entrance requirements, will be ensured admittance into the university,” she tells us. “This does not and will not compromise our commitment to ensuring that current academic standards are maintained.”
Still, entrance has gotten easier for students who no longer have to take foundation courses in English and Math, which includes those taking classes now only offered in Arabic – business, law, media and international affairs.
The Supreme Education Council’s decision early this year to introduce Arabic-only teaching in these areas has been the subject of much debate, particularly given Qatar’s desire to prepare its young people for a “knowledge-based economy.”
Prof. al-Misnad insists that standards will not be affected by the switch in teaching language.
“QU has ensured that sufficient English courses are integrated into curricula to ensure our graduates are competent in both the languages,” she told the Gulf Times.
QU requires Qatari students to gain a minimum average Secondary School Certificatescore of 70% for Science subjects and 75% for Arts. Any students achieving more than this will be admitted. Those who fail to make the grade can however apply for a foundation course to bridge any gaps between the student’s academic skills and the academic level needed at the university.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, al-Misnad also told the Gulf Times that QU will simply expand its facilities to keep up with the increase in the size of the student body.
“Our policy is to take any Qatari student who clears the QU entrance exam. We don’t have a cap like some other universities,” she says.
Interestingly, female students continue to outnumber their male counterparts at QU. There are 8,922 women and 3,387 men registered for courses this fall.
QU has also revealed that 12% of its students take more than five years to graduate, although this number is down 9% on the previous year.
Credit: Image courtesy of Qatar University’s website