The Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Khalid Al Ali revealed that the number of applicants for scholarships in the year 2022-2023 of both genders amounted to 2503 male and female students, 977 of whom were accepted.
In an exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Dr. Al Ali said that the countries most requesting scholarships this year are Qatar, with a rate of 77 percent, then Britain with 18 percent, the United States with 2 percent, and with 3 percent for the rest of the countries.
He pointed out that the most desirable majors are education majors through the “Tomouh” scholarship program, which adopts holders of a general secondary certificate to join the teaching profession after graduating from the College of Education at Qatar University, then, successively, engineering, computer, medical and paramedical majors, management, politics, international relations and public relations.
He noted that 983 universities in 68 countries around the world are the accredited universities for external scholarships for bachelor’s degrees, stressing that the criterion for selecting these universities is academic quality, and that accordingly, 82 percent of the universities in the accredited list were concentrated in 20 countries, led by the United States of America with 274 universities, and the United Kingdom with 70 universities, which are the two most popular destinations for students.
He said that with regard to scholarships for postgraduate studies, a short list was allocated to it, which included 423 universities in 41 countries, which is also led by the United States of America with 104 universities, followed by the United Kingdom with 39 universities.
In a related context, Dr. Al Ali mentioned that 3134 Qatari students are at the head of the mission, 75 percent of whom are females and 25 percent are males.
He pointed out again that the desired and popular majors are medicine and auxiliary medicine (general medicine – dentistry – pharmacy – nursing), as well as engineering majors, including civil and mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and biomedical engineering, as well as computer majors, including cybersecurity, information systems, computer science, and information technology majors, in addition to the great demand for the majors of the College of Education (Tomouh program) at Qatar University.
He also indicated that there are 35 Amiri universities, including 21 in the United States of America, 5 universities in Britain, and the same number in Qatar in Education City, as well as two universities in Canada and one university each in Japan and Australia, noting that scholarships are given to these universities according to the specialisation that the student desires, as they are not restricted to the specialisations of the government scholarship plan, therefore, it is considered a grant from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and a reward for the student to study any major he desires, given that he has obtained admission to study from an Amiri university.
On Qatar’s endeavour to provide an educational environment that responds to its aspirations and advanced policies in the higher education sector and to link graduates with the needs of the labour market, the Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education affirmed that the policy followed in linking graduates with covering the needs of the Qatari labour market, is in coordination with the Civil Service and Government Development Bureau, according to the government scholarship plan for majors and entities received annually from it.
In his interview with (QNA), the Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Khalid Al Ali touched on the role of the ministry in guiding scholarship students, in cooperation with the Qatari cultural attaches abroad and the embassies of countries concerned with scholarships in Qatar, saying that students are advised about the specialisations available for internal and external scholarships, scholarship conditions, the registration mechanism for scholarship application and the listed universities for scholarships through the Ministry’s website (government scholarship) Scholarship.edu.gov.qa, and for assistance in obtaining admission from universities, through the Academic Advising Department of the education sector in schools at the secondary level.
He indicated that guidance for scholarships and follow-up of scholarship students is also carried out by the Scholarships Department in the higher education sector, in addition to organising annual university exhibitions for school students in secondary schools, as well as the annual exhibition for universities organised by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, for the purpose of guidance, noting that the cultural attaches of the embassies in Qatar participate in providing students with all the necessary information.
Answering a question about what is new in terms of privileges granted to scholarship students to enable them to complete their higher education without hindrance, Dr. Al-Ali revealed that a study on scholarship privileges has been submitted to the Scholarships Committee, and it will be announced as soon as it is approved.
He continued, saying that the number of higher education institutions in Qatar is 34, including 10 public institutions, 6 military and police institutions, and 18 private institutions, while the total number of students in all these institutions for the academic year (2021-2022) is about 40,199, of whom 70 percent are females and 63 percent are Qatari students.
And whether there is an intention to open branches of other foreign universities in Qatar, and the extent to which this is compatible with the needs and requirements of the labour market, he indicated that there is an estimated number of world-class foreign universities in the country, however, it needs some specialisations in the fields of health sciences and engineering sciences, and therefore the Ministry is in the process of approving four international universities from Malaysia, the United States of America, Australia and another country, to offer programs in scientific disciplines required in the Qatari labour market.
It should be noted that Qatar is ranked fourth in the world and first in the Arab world in the quality of education, in the Global Education Quality Index issued by the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to a distinguished set of criteria.