Globalization and Education in Qatar
This paper is about how education gives rise to globalization, and how globalization on the other hand leads to improvement of the education system.
Globalization is a process whereby interaction and integration happens among governments, companies and people of different nations. This action is directed by international investment and trade and backed up by information technology. Globalization can affect the environment, culture, political systems, economic growth and prosperity. It also has an impact on human physical welfare in societies around the globe (King 2011, 17). The Qatar Foundation’s provision of top quality education promotes globalization. The City builds a link between research and industry, business and academia; all of which would contribute to bridging policy and research in Qatar and the region. Education City is a very important project: its importance surpasses that of any other industrial or commercial project.
Education is essential in making any progress in the present knowledge-based economies, and exposing nations to the world. Qatar Foundation brings high quality education, experience in industry and employment opportunities to Qatar to help young people develop skills and attitudes required to build the economy. Qatar Foundation caters for education at each level, from elementary level through to university. It has a total of about 4,000 students, among them being different nationalities. The comprehensive campus has partnered with some of the world’s most successful educational institutions, all put up in modern facilities. This melting pot of scholarly excellence, concentrated on a single site, encourages the personal and professional development of all of its students, enrolling them right from pre-school education to university and even beyond (Khater 2011, 360).
Education City is connected with a wide network of institutions and places predominantly located in Europe and North America. The degree of interaction of Education City with the outside world is remarkably high. This is because the higher education programs are offered by institutions outside Qatar. Interaction with the outside world is essential if globalization is to be achieved.
Qatar foundation encourages a steady flow of people and information with other urban places around the world to enhance learning and innovation in Qatar. The science and technology park, which is located in Education City area, is working a couple of transnational corporations such as Cisco, Exxon-Mobil and Microsoft to achieve Qatar’s hopes: to be a Knowledge Intensive centre. By working closely with the multinational corporations, students get a lot of exposure on issues of the modern world.
Qatar Foundation is an autonomous, non-profit, private, chartered institution that was founded in 1995 by order of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the Qatar State. Its paramount goal is to promote centers of distinction which builds the abilities of the peoples through investments in innovative technology, human capital, partnerships with elite organizations and state of the art facilities thereby raising the suitability of people and the quality of life. It is located in Doha, Qatar (Kleypas 2011, 74).
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Community Development and Science opened Education City in 2001, bringing together everything from schools to graduate programs. Six prominent U.S. universities, including Cornell and Carnegie Melon; and three European universities offer specialized programs on an impressive campus that reflects Qatar’s determination to become a leading educational force in the Middle East. The curricula and textbooks are the same as the home campus, and all instruction is in English. Being on-campus, even the traditional gender separation is relaxed, at least in some disciplines.
The goals underlying Education City are relatively straightforward. Young people, particularly women want a superlative education, but especially since 2001 are reluctant to take their education courses in the U.S. In addition, the universities attract wealthier expatriates, and hopefully students from abroad. Roughly half the students in Education City are from Qatar, and the rest makes more than a dozen countries, mainly in the Middle East, though there are some American learners registered. Through this program, students are exposed to new ideas, including different gender relations, religions, and commercialism (Russell 2012, 152).
The Qatar Foundation encourages the pursuit of new knowledge, research in science and the development of novel technologies. It does this by developing research strategies which bring together Qatar-based research and experts from overseas to create links that will give homegrown solutions for Qatar and the region.
The Qatar Foundation is a manifestation that globalization is brought about by an improved education system, while demonstrating that globalization gives rise to an excellent form of education (Nata 2005, 10). Through the foundation, education has been globalized. World-class education has also been brought nearer to the people.
However, globalization through education has had its disadvantages. Foreign degree programs have portrayed reliance on external world. It has also led to loss of important cultural traits and adoption of new ones, which may not be the most appropriate for the Qataris.
We can conclude that most of the effects of globalization through education in Qatar are positive. Education City is therefore an important step towards reaching Qatar’s economic goals. All nations of the world should embrace globalization. They should also open up their education systems if they are to achieve holistic development.
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Khater, Akram Fouad. Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. Stamford: CengageLearning, 2011.
Nata, R. New Directions in Higher Education. New York: Nova Publishers, 2005.
Roger King, Simon Marginson, Rajani Naidoo. Handbook on Globalization and Higher Education. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
Russell, Malcolm. The Middle East and South Asia 2012. New York: Stryker Post, 2012.