“Our university is open to students of all races, nationalities and sexes; we accept people based on their individual capabilities and are looking for students from all over the world – including Israel,” said Dr James Reardon-Anderson, dean of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
The prestigious American university opened its Qatari branch almost two years ago, at the invitation of the local government.
In an effort to prevent the emigration of local researchers from the tiny emirate (only 120,000 residents), the Qatari government decided to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a massive education complex, dubbed Education City, which seeks to become the regional academic hub.
Drawing prestigous institutions to join the project was one of the government's key goals and besides Georgetown there are currently four other leading US universities with campus branches already operating in Doha. These include Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Carnegie Mellon University and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Georgetown's Qatari branch charges $35,000, equal to the tuition charged by the original establishment in Washington DC. However, Dean Reardon-Anderson said foreign students are eligible for scholarships and loans.
Due to the small amount of local students, Qatar is trying to attract foreigners through lucrative scholarships granted by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, which was set up by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, wife of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
'Better learning conditions'
Despite the fact that Israel and Qatar do not maintain diplomatic relations Dean Reardon-Anderson said he does not expect Israeli students to encounter any difficulties in obtaining a viasas.
Several Israelis have visited the campus over the past two years, he said, adding that the university’s annual Model United Nations Conference is regularly attended by delegates from Israeli high schools.
According to the dean, Israelis should consider enrolling at the university because “the academic level here is equal to that of the Washington campus, but with better learning conditions."
Secondly, he said, Israeli students studying in Qatar can easily go home for the weekend, as the flight is only a few hours long.