Texas A&M Opens New Campus in Qatar COLLEGE STATION, Texas
Texas A&M University opened its new branch campus in Qatar earlier this month and began offering classes on a highly selective basis for Middle East students who want to earn degrees in one of four areas of engineering.
Classes began with 29 students, noted Qatar interim dean and CEO Charles H. Bowman. Instruction will be temporarily offered in the Weill Cornell Medical College building in Qatar, while Texas A&M’s new building is under construction.
“The size and quality of the inaugural class has exceeded our expectations,” Bowman says, “particularly given the short time we had available to conduct the admissions process. We look forward to working with this enthusiastic group of new Aggies.”
Joseph A. Estrada, director of admissions and records, told the Gulf Times, a major newspaper for the Persian Gulf region, that Texas A&M at Qatar received about 100 applications and subjected the applicants to a “stringent screening” in selecting the inaugural class.
Estrada, who previously headed admissions operations for Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, said the first class includes 14 men and 15 women. He said 24 of the students are from Qatar, three are from India, one from Lebanon and one from Yemen.
The new branch campus is the result of a 10-year agreement signed in May by Texas A&M and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The foundation is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1995 by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to support education reform and provide community development. Her Highness Sheikha Mouzah Bent Nasser Al-Misned, Consort of the Emir, is chairwoman of the Qatar Foundation.
An integral part of a newly constructed 2,400-acre campus known as Education City and located in suburban Doha, Texas A&M’s branch campus will initially offer undergraduate degree programs in petroleum, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering. Students also will study mathematics, science, liberal arts and the humanities as part of the curriculum. All classes will be taught in English.
Research will be a key component, along with teaching, at the Qatar campus. Two interdisciplinary research centers will be established to address production and utilization of natural resources and environmental sustainability. Graduate degree programs will be offered within the next three years and a continuing education program is also planned.
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