Cover: Post-Secondary Education in Qatar

Post-Secondary Education in Qatar

Employer Demand, Student Choice, and Options for Policy

Published Oct 12, 2007

by Cathy Stasz, Eric R. Eide, Paco Martorell

with Louay Constant, Charles A. Goldman, Joy S. Moini, Vazha Nadareishvili, Hanine Salem


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The leadership of Qatar has a social and political vision that calls for improving the country’s post-secondary education system. Qatar’s Supreme Education Council asked RAND to conduct a one-year study to assess whether the current post-secondary education opportunities in Qatar are aligned with the nation’s social and economic goals, and to help articulate priorities for developing post-secondary educational opportunities, either in Qatar or through financed study abroad. The study determined that occupational demands are in the professional, technical, and sales and service occupations for men, and in the professional and clerical occupations for women. Overall, the pattern of demand favors individuals with some post-secondary education. However, education and career choices, especially for men, are somewhat misaligned with demand. There are numerous post-secondary offerings in Qatar to prepare Qataris for work in high-demand fields at the undergraduate level, but not for graduate studies. The study also identified other gaps in the provision of education, and developed several options for addressing them. The recommended investments for consideration are as follows: (1) to address the currently limited opportunities available to Qataris who need further course work before going on to university studies, consider establishing a government-sponsored community college; (2) to address the limited choices in four-year degrees available to high-achieving students beyond the degrees offered in Education City, consider recruiting a top liberal arts college or developing an honors program at Qatar University; and (3) to address the lack of master’s degrees being offered in fields essential to Qatar’s social and economic progress, consider expanding Education City’s offerings or restructuring Qatar University programs. The study also recommended that a financial-aid program for adults be started and that an overarching strategy of investment be developed for post-secondary education before any investments are made.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Supreme Education Council and conducted within RAND Education and the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute, programs of the RAND Corporation.

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