Qatar is a small, oil-rich state in the Arabian Gulf region. Once a poor, pearl-fishing-based economy, the discovery of large oil and gas reserves propelled the country into its current role as a key global energy player.
With its incredibly high GDP per capita, Al Jazeera TV station, and status as a FIFA World Cup host city, Qatar is also gaining considerable regional influence.
In preparation for a post-fossil fuel future, the Qatari Government has begun to invest heavily in education as part of its ‘Qatar National Vision 2030’ agenda. The country now spends 4.4% of GDP on education – the highest in the region – and has a distinctly international outlook.
A rise in prominence of campus branches and international partnerships with renowned Global Higher Education institutions such as UCL, Cornell and Georgetown have made clear Qatar’s ambition to be an international hub for education.
Similarly to in neighbouring UAE, Qatari citizens constitute a mere 13% of the population. Indians are the largest expatriate community, making up 30% of the population. Other notable non-national resident groups include Nepalis, Filipinos and Bangladeshis, who account for 17%, 10% and 7% of the population respectively.
92% of expats living in Qatar report having more disposable income than in their home country. The small nation has the third highest concentration of millionaires in the world after Singapore and Switzerland; almost 50,000 households hold private wealth of at least $1 million. This acute concentration of wealth is a key driver of private higher education demand, particularly for non-nationals who are not eligible for Government-sponsored scholarship programmes.
Popular destinations for outbound Qatari students include the UK, USA and UAE. BMI will hold two recruitment fairs in Doha in October as part of its Global Education Fairs – Middle East.