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American College Criticized For CCQ Venture

Community College of Qatar CCQ

American college goes under fire over a controversial Community College of Qatar (CCQ) five year deal.

In 2010, the Houston Community College signed a five-year deal with Qatar, to help set up the country’s first American-style junior college, or the Community College of Qatar (CCQ). The CCQ was part of Qatar National Vision 2030, a nationwide project, investing in human development for a shift into a knowledge based economy. The American-style college opened to help Qatari nationals transition into further higher education, or job training.

As part of the agreement, HCC sent several professors and administrator to Doha to run the CCQ. Students would take English-language courses for a year and two, and transfer to a university after that as an undergraduate student. HCC predicted to gain $4.5 million profit of the deal, a figure hardly met.

According to an article on American community colleges with satellite campuses in the Wall Street Journal, Houston Community College decided to not pursue a new contract with CCQ, after only making $1.8 million out of the $4.5 million projection.

Other obstacles the HCC faced in Qatar, was the unclarity regarding whether “ultimate authority rested with administrators in Houston, or with Judith Hansen, the dean hand-picked by Qatar’s Supreme Education Council to lead the college”, according to an article on the HCC in Qatar in the New Republic.

Funding cuts are forcing American community colleges to jump into foreign investments for profit., while the American Association of Community Colleges reports that the portion of junior college revenues provided by the state has dropped 16 percent since 2008.

However, the CCQ’s student body has increased exponentially from 2010’s 304 students, which more than doubled just a year later.

As for cooperation with foreign academic institutions, the CCQ continues to grow close relationships with bodies who have the potential to elevate Qatari education. This May, the signed a understanding with the University of Calgary in Qatar, permitting students to study foundation year at the CCQ before transferring to the UCQ.

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