In 1973, Qatar’s first national College of Education was founded by decree of the Emir of Qatar, in his vision to place education as a priority in the country’s expansion. Among a small population, the College admitted a respectable 57 male and 93 female students in its first year. The country’s rapid development highlighted the need for the College’s expansion, to provide additional areas of specialization in line with the requirements of the population. Therefore, in 1977, Qatar University was founded with four new colleges; Education, Humanities & Social Sciences, Sharia, Law & Islamic Studies, and Science. From there, the institution rapidly expanded, with the founding of the College of Engineering in 1980 and College of Business in 1985. In addition, it originally supported several small independent research centers, and worked to establish a national community college; the College of Technology.
Following the establishment of Education City and the Qatar Foundation in 1996, a new era of competitive options for local institutions of higher education began, and Qatar University’s functions and services were re-evaluated. In 2003, the University embarked on an ambitious Reform Plan to increase the efficiency of its administrative and academic processes. To this end, a university-wide Strategic Plan 2010-2013 was launched, incorporating Key Performance Areas which focused on promoting quality education and efficient and effective services. The Plan also renewed focus on research, leading to the establishment of the Office of Academic Research in 2007, which oversaw a growing number of high-profile satellite research centers. Community service also became a large focus, and many facilities and services were enhanced and expanded upon, to meet the needs of the public.
Today, Qatar University comprises nine colleges: Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Law; Medicine; Pharmacy; and Sharia and Islamic Studies. Over the years, the University has continually expanded its wide range of new programs—the largest selection in the country—while fastidiously seeking the highest international accreditations, and ensuring they are aligned with the growing needs of the labor market and the aspirations of the society it serves. It currently boasts a population of over 20000 students, and an alumni body of over 40,000.