Qatar University Foundation Program: A Means to Access Higher Education and a Pathway for Transformation

  • Maha Al-Hendawi
  • Mohammad Manasreh
  • James Scotland
  • John Rogers


Qatar has long sought to promote education among its citizens. One of the challenges that has emerged is maintaining academic standards at a tertiary level while still providing access and equity to learners. Recently, the search for this balance has been played out through the language and admissions policy of this Gulf state’s first and only national university, Qatar University. Historically, Qatar University has strived to find a balance between upholding Arabic academic traditions and meeting the language needs for its economic activities as well as finding a balance between maintaining academic standards while providing an education that is equitable and accessible to its citizens. In 2003, Qatar University began a process of structural reform. Learners whose English language competency was not at the required level were enrolled into a newly expanded Foundation Program. This Program was initially designed as a pathway program to provide students with a preparatory route for entry into their desired colleges. Further changes to educational policy in 2012 necessitated restructuring Qatar University as Arabic became the language of instruction. This, in turn, redefined the role of the Foundation Program. This chapter is an exploration into how the Foundation Program adapted and evolved in order to better serve the constantly changing needs of Qatari students.


Foundation Program Qatar University Reform in higher education Access to higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maha Al-Hendawi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Manasreh
    • 1
  • James Scotland
    • 1
  • John Rogers
    • 1
  1. 1.Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

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