Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Education Training and Equipment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-11-18

Overview

Qatar is using its hydrocarbon-fueled wealth, in part, to invest in educational reform.  The Government of Qatar recognizes that it must develop a diversified, knowledge-based economy to ensure the country continues to thrive over the long-term.  Qatar continues to overhaul its primary and secondary schools, as outlined in the country’s National Vision 2030, and the 2020 budget prioritized education spending. 

Qatar has nearly 250 independent schools, which function like charter schools in the United States.  While the Government of Qatar requires that all independent schools comply with national curriculum standards in all core subjects, the government is gradually modifying its educational curriculum to match international baccalaureate standards. The government continues to look to expand the number of primary and secondary private schools to cater to the growing population of foreign professionals working in Qatar and to provide more options to Qatari citizens. The shortage of private international schools is an issue that results in waitlists around Doha, but the education sector is striving to keep up with increasing market demands. Several new international schools are opening but more institutions are still needed.  The Supreme Education Council is making great efforts to promote the establishment of top international institutions in Qatar. 

The Government of Qatar provides every citizen free education at the primary and secondary level.  The Government of Qatar’s Higher Education Institute (HEI) scholarship awards full scholarships to Qatari nationals admitted into a variety of designated undergraduate and graduate schools in the United States (as well as other countries). The goal is to provide these Qataris with the appropriate mix of skills in key sectors in support of Qatarization.

As part of its Vision 2030, Qatar’s senior leadership established a strategy to educate highly productive, skilled Qatari nationals to meet the demands of the labor market.  This strategy is known as “Qatarization” and is designed to increase the number of Qatari nationals in all joint venture industries and government departments to assume key positions formerly occupied by expatriates. The target is 50% of the workforce in the industry and energy sectors.

For university education, to achieve its goal of creating the best-educated citizens in the Middle East, Qatar has imported not just the American model, but the U.S. universities themselves at Education City.  Qatar Foundation (QF) is a major vehicle for the government’s education agenda.  QF’s flagship project is the 2,500-acre Education City campus in Doha, which hosts six U.S. universities: Weill-Cornell Medical College (medicine); Carnegie Mellon University (computer science, business); Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (political science and international affairs); Virginia Commonwealth University (art and design); Texas A&M University (engineering); and Northwestern University (journalism). 

Lastly, Qatar is looking to partner with U.S. institutions on science and technology. In January 2019, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and Texas A&M University at Qatar launched an innovation laboratory to support outreach and academic enrichment initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for K-12 students in Qatar.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

  • Language:  ESL and TOEFL
  • Undergraduate:  Business Administration, Engineering, and Communication
  • STEM programs
  • Post-Graduate:  Pharmacy, Dentistry, Business Administration

Opportunities

The education sector is open for new opportunities and innovative ideas, so long as they fit into the educational and economic goals of both the Qatar Foundation and national plans.  The country is investing significant resources to train Qatari youth to enable them to become entrepreneurs and qualified professionals for the economy.

School operators are in high demand as the Qatar tries to cope with the growing education demand.  Several new recently built housing and commercial areas, such as Lusail City, are looking for partners to establish new schools to cater to residents.

Web Resources

Contact the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy.