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Northwestern to Open Campus in Qatar

Branch campus in Doha features journalism, communication programs

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November 1, 2007 | by Alan K. Cubbage

Doha --- Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Northwestern University are to establish a branch campus at Education City on the outskirts of Qatar's capital, Doha.

Qatar Foundation aims to build a knowledge-based society. Northwestern will join other top international universities each offering programs selected to meet the needs of Qatar and the GCC region.

Northwestern, based in Illinois, US, will offer undergraduate programs in communication and journalism at the Education City campus starting in fall 2008. The two programs are the first undergraduate degrees offered by Northwestern away from its main campus. Approximately 40 students are expected to enroll in the programs in the first year.

Admission requirements to the programs at Education City are the same as at the parent institution, and the degree awarded upon graduation is identical to that earned at the home campus. Each university has purpose-built facilities provided at the Education City site.

Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism will offer a program in journalism, media and integrated marketing communications, while the university's School of Communication will offer a program in media industries and technologies. In addition, Northwestern plans to offer a pre-college preparatory program.

"Northwestern's reputation for excellence made it a prime candidate to deliver journalism and communication programs at Education City," said Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. "During the negotiations we became convinced that they understood and endorsed our vision for the development of Education City and its contribution to Qatar and the region. Effective media and communication are a vital element of the dynamic, participative society we are promoting."

"We are excited about the opportunity to join with other great American universities in offering degree programs at Education City," said Northwestern University President, Henry S. Bienen. "We appreciate the vision and the leadership of the Qatar Foundation in creating this wonderful new venture."

In recent years the Gulf state of Qatar has gained a reputation for balancing rapid social reform with the preservation of local cultural traditions. Qatar Foundation is spearheading the country's transformation into a knowledge-based society and its drive to become the region's educational hub.

About Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, Qatar Foundation is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare the people of Qatar and the region to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned is the chairperson of Qatar Foundation.

Qatar Foundation is the driving force behind Education City: a center for educational excellence in the region, where world-renowned universities share research and educate students in fields of critical importance to the GCC region.

Located on the outskirts of Doha, Qatar, Education City covers 14 million square meters and is home to a range of education and research institutions such as Qatar National Research Fund, whose goal is to establish a research culture in Qatar.

Five leading international universities have branch campuses at Education City; Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; Texas A&M University at Qatar; Carnegie Mellon University Qatar and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Graduate programs are offered by the Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Qatar Foundation is committed to community development and operates a range of centers for local and regional outreach. Qatar Foundation has also branched into broadcast, with the Doha Debates, Al-Jazeera Children's Channel and local youth discussion program, Lakom Al Karar (meaning 'the decision is yours').

The latest projects of Qatar Foundation include the Qatar Science and Technology Park, a research zone committed to the development of regional entrepreneurs and young innovators and Sidra Medical and Research Center, which will offer medical care and training in conjunction with biomedical research.

For more information, go to http://www.qf.org.qa/