This alluring country is located on the protruding Qatari landmass on the popular northeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia and borders with the beautiful waters of the Persian Gulf. Tuition fees are also low and cheap compared to institutions in the UK and USA. Although being smaller in size than many of its neighboring countries, Qatar in recent times has seen a massive increase in wealth following fuel trade and is now considered one of the world’s richest oil countries.Additionally, it is investing massive sums in developing and internationalizing its tertiary education system.
How to Apply to Universities in Qatar
To find out how to apply to universities in Qatar, do well to visit the website of your chosen universities and read up on the application process and entry requirements for each of the programs. In most cases domestic and international students are allowed to apply online through the relevant department.
At some universities there is regulation on the types of student who are eligible to apply. For example, at Qatar University note that only those with a valid State of Qatar residence permit or citizenship in a fellow Gulf country are allowed to enroll.
If you don’t possess a residence permit but wish to study in Qatar, please visit the international student section of your chosen university’s website, where you would find assistance on how to get a residency permit.
Tuition Fees and Living Expenses
Generally, tuition fees at universities in Qatar are set by each individual institution. More often than not, both Qatari and non-Qatari students pay the same amount. At some institutions, such as the Education City branch of Texas A & M, sponsored students pay half the fees of non-sponsored students, with the full amount pegged at 71,172 QR per semester (~US$19,550). There are generally two semesters per academic year (fall and spring).
If you choose to study in Qatar at the Education City complex, and are a cross-registered student, you could be eligible to take up additional programs offered by other universities in the City for free.
Some universities in Qatar charge fees per ‘credit hour’, with around 12 credit hours per semester. At Qatar University for instance, undergraduate arts courses cost 800 QR per credit hour, equaling 9,600 QR per semester (US$2,600), while engineering programs cost 1,000 QR per credit hour, totaling 12,000 QR per semester (US$3,300).However, If you are a prospective medical student you should expect significantly higher fees, starting at 60,000 QR a year (US$16,500) and climbing to 90,000 QR (US$24,700) in your fourth year and 120,000 QR (US$33,000) in your fifth and sixth years of clinical training.
Besides the advantage of cheap petrol, living costs in Qatar aren’t the most appealing in many ways. Swift economic growth has led accommodation and leisure costs to rocket, alongside the prices of transport to and from the nation. Due to the widespread importation of food – estimated at around 90% of consumption – basic foodstuffs are equally expensive. According to Numbeo statistics, you can expect to pay 21 QR (US$6 for a McDonalds meal, 40 QR (US$11) for a domestic or imported beer, 5.5 QR (US$1.5) for a loaf of bread and between 5,500 QR (US$1,500) and 8,350 QR per month (US$2,300) for a one-bedroom apartment, with the upper end of the price scale reflecting properties in Doha city center.
If you intend to study in Qatar for a short time only, then tourist visas can be issued on arrival at the popular Doha airport to citizens from a number of countries, including the UK, US, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.However, citizens of fellow Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE – do not require a visa to enter Qatar. The price for a tourist 30-day visa is 105 QR (US$30), this is payable on entry into Qatar and often open for renewal before the 30-day period expires.
When compared to neighboring Saudi Arabia, Qatar is liberal-minded in its approach to gender. Infact,women are allowed to drive and non-Islamic women can wear clothing other than the abaya (the full-length black gown commonly worn by Qatari women). However, modest dress and grooming for women of all faiths is essential; according to the Qatari Tourism Authority, clothing should fully cover the shoulders, cleavage, midriff and knees. In addition, tuition fees are low and inexpensive for international students.
Qatar also differs from Saudi Arabia in not being a teetotal nation, despite being home to a primarily Islamic population.While the liquor may not flow as freely as in the UAE’s touristy city of Dubai, but many international hotels, restaurants and bars are allowed to serve alcohol. However, if you would like to buy alcohol for private tasting, you’ll need to apply for an alcohol permit. This entitles you to shop at QDC, the nation’s only off-license.