The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has approved the delivery in Qatar of undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by prestigious US and UK universities beginning fall 2020, it was announced on Sunday.
The programmes, managed by the Global Studies Institute (GSI), a Qatari education enterprise based in Doha in collaboration with Shorelight Technologies, will be offered at the Aspire Zone Foundation using live lectures from select universities from the US or the UK, according to a statement.
GSI chairman Saad Ibrahim al-Muhannadi said: "On behalf of all of our partners I am honoured to announce the launch of the Global Studies Institute in Qatar. Bringing together world class universities and utilising a technology platform that allows real time live instruction and facilitates a learning environment that has never been done before, is truly a remarkable milestone in advancing higher education in Qatar.
"Our aim at the Global Studies Institute is to promote education and lifelong learning by providing quality educational programmes at all levels (Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Professional Development) to Qatari citizens and residents at our state-of-the-art facilities within Aspire Zone.
"This achievement could not have been made possible without the support of all the partners and the team at the Global Studies Institute. I would like to thank everyone who has worked on realising this dream in addition to the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Without their support, encouragement, shared vision, values, and commitment to excellence, this project would not have come to fruition."
Starting in September 2020, programmes will be offered by the State University of New York (SUNY), which is the largest system of public higher education in the US, and the University of South Carolina. Two additional universities already approved by the ministry will be added in January next year.
Associates, Bachelors, and Masters programmes will be offered using the real-time, highly interactive and content rich format using Shorelight Technology systems especially built for the Qatari student to have a more immersive classroom experience than if they were sitting in a classroom thousands of miles away.
Studies have shown that this learning environment produces the greatest level of student engagement. Many more programmes are planned for the spring semester and beyond as GSI builds more partnerships, pathways and each participating university recognises the strength of preparation of Qatari students.
Courses will lead to myriad two-year associate's degrees, 4-year undergraduate degrees, graduate programmes at the master's level and professional development opportunities. Students can now get a high quality US or UK degree without leaving Qatar or can transfer to a top tier international university with one or two years of study already completed. Furthermore, because of the close co-operation with Qatari universities, students will be able to transfer coursework to universities in Doha.
Dr Kristine Duffy, president of the SUNY at Adirondack, said: "We are delighted to bring the quality of a SUNY education to Qatar for the benefit of the residents of Qatar. Our faculty are really excited to be able to interact with students of all levels in Doha classrooms. We believe that this technology provides for a vibrant classroom experience."
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