Investments in private schools in Qatar are expected to triple by 2020, said Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al Thani.
The private education sector in Qatar has expanded significantly in the past few years, he said at the opening of Education Investment exhibition ‘EdEx Qatar 2017’ in Doha on Tuesday.
The chairman attributed the growth to an increase in expatriate population and the government’s commitment to providing quality alternatives to the state education system,
The two-day exhibition gives visitors a platform to interact with leading entities involved in the regulation, financing, equipping and improvement of the private education sector in Qatar.
It also focuses on facilitating business development and partnership opportunities within Qatar and the regional private education industry.
Held under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Higher Education HE Mohammed bin Abdul Wahid al Hammadi, and supported by Qatar Chamber, EdEx Qatar aims to provide ministries and public and private school leaders with the opportunity to discover the latest ideas and solutions that would help Qatar move towards delivering a more competitive education system.
Citing the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 issued by the World Economic Forum, Sheikh Khalifa pointed out that Qatar is ranked fifth in the quality of education system.
Qatar is also ranked eighth in the global index of the level of training undergone by education sector employees, and 11th in the world index for Internet connectivity in schools, he noted.
“To enable Qatar to take the lead and become a major player in the international education arena, the government has allocated a budget of QR20.6 billion, representing 10.4 percent of the total expenditure, for this vital sector,” he added.
Mohammed bin Twar, Vice Chairman of QC, said the vast participation of specialized companies and interested investor in EdEx Conference and Exhibition shows that Qatar has become attractive hub for education investment.
The education committee at QC is holding regular meetings with investors to solve problems and challenges that face private education.
The two-day EdEx conference and exhibition provides ministries, public and private school leaders with the opportunity to discover the latest ideas and solutions that will help the nation move towards delivering a more competitive education system.
Highlighting the steps taking by the government to enhance the education sector, Higher Education Authority Director Yousuf al Hur said Qatar encourages investment in education, including customs exemptions and exemptions from electricity and water fees.
He said that there is a need of 42 new privates schools at all levels until 2022 to meet the increasing demand and population growth.
Qatar has encouraged investment in private education exempting the sector from customs, providing with free water and electricity, land plots, buildings, textbooks and school vouchers for Qatari students and many other incentives, Al Hur stressed.
The MoEH introduced the position of Undersecretary Assistant for Private Education under which the private school and licensing office operates, he noted.
The government in collaboration with Qatar Chamber has offered eleven land plots for private education, and the ministry has begun to implement its strategy 2017-2022 aiming to provide with diversity of education opportunities, Al Hur told The Peninsula at the sideline of the conference.
Al Hur said that recently one private university had opened its campus in Doha. “Many more international universities want to establish their campuses here,” he said, adding that the applications were in the pipeline. To a question about the exact number of foreign universities interested in opening campuses in Qatar, he gave no figure saying: “Many applications have fulfilled the requirements and are under process.”
Qatar has created a conducive environment for the investment in education with clear vision and ease of procedures for licensing under the law No 23/2015 regulating private schools and guide for licenses of private schools, said Al Hur.