Education in Qatar is on the rise, and will turn the country into a knowledge-based economy.
Qatar, a country whose economy depends mainly on oil exports, is directing its focus on human capital. A nation is only as advanced as its educated public, and Qatar will soon be a world superpower with all the investments the country is putting into the education sector.
With the country’s first formal school opening doors just in 1949, the latecomers swiftly became leading in Education throughout the region. Offering a variety of international and alternative school curriculum, Today Qatar has over 340 international schools.
Education in Qatar went through rapid developments in the early 1950s. Starting with roughly 50 students and one teacher in 1949, they had 560 students and 26 teachers across 4 schools in only 5 years. This might not seem like a large number to people living in other countries, but with respect to the small population living in Qatar at the time, the numbers are very impressive.
As traditional education in today’s sense was not very popular in Qatar, the nation managed to lift the country’s literacy rate up to over 96% in a few decades. The literacy rate in Qatar is the highest in the Arab Gulf, and growing.
Since Qatar has become a cultural hub for expats relocating to pursue careers in one of the strongest Arab economies, many prestigious universities have opened up satellite campuses in the capital. Doha has centralized education in its suburban Education City, with notable universities like Cornell University, Weill Medical College, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, and University College London among others.
In 2012 Qatar’s budget for education was over $6 billion, and has grown significantly since, with a large part of the budget going to development.