Qatar’ social norms, prestige have strong impact on students’ decisions

November 9, 2010
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http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-social-norms-image-appeal-to-students-1.708149

Qatar’s social norms and prestigious image are crucial factors in attracting students to pursue third level education there, according to a new report.

While most men prefer to go abroad for their university degrees, even though the country is home to internationally recognised western universities and colleges, many of the young women say they prefer to pursue their university education inQatar.

The main reasons cited by male students opting for overseas education, is because of the international exposure and experience they get. However, they also admitted that they are keen on the prestige of having a foreign degree and that it helps when it comes to getting a job, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.

However, aware that the conservative nature of Qatari society and the reluctance of their families make it very difficult them to study abroad, women students say they are happy to attend local universities and colleges.

“I want to study engineering and travel to a foreign country, preferably to the US orUK. It would be a different experience to study in another country,” Khalid Yousuf, a high school student, told The Peninsula at the Qatar International College Fair (QICF) in Doha.

For Abdullah Hassan, another student, the fair provided information about many universities. He will now choose between Australia and the US.

The options were different for Shama Al Mansoori however. “I like to study engineering, but it will be in Qatar. I have no interest in traveling abroad,” she said.

“I prefer Texas A and M University in Qatar. The degree we get here is the same as the one at the main university,” said Nadia Al Dossary.

More than 60 universities and educational institutions are taking part in the three-day QICF, organised by the Higher Education Institute (HEI).

The number of universities and colleges in the Arabian Gulf, mainly Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, has grown considerably in the last decade after several Gulf students said that they would not study in Western countries for fear of being discriminated against, following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the ensuing anti-Arab and anti-Muslim tensions.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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