The Qatar Foundation

The Qatar Foundation

The Qatar Foundation's full name is the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. It is a private, chartered, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1995 by the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, who is a wife of the Emir, chairs the Qatar Foundation.

The mission of the Qatar Foundation has always been twofold: to provide educational opportunities and to improve quality of life for the people of Qatar and the region. Specifically, the website says,

Qatar Foundation's mission is to prepare the people of Qatar and the region to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, and to make Qatar a leader in innovative education and research. To achieve that mission, QF supports a network of centers and partnerships with elite institutions, all committed to the principle that a nation's greatest natural resource is its people. Education City, Qatar Foundation's flagship project is envisioned as a Center of Excellence in education and research that will help transform Qatar into a knowledge-based society.

Its initial projects were the Qatar Diabetes Association (1995) and the Social Development Center (1996).

Also in 1996 (when it began the development of the Education City), the Qatar Foundation opened the learning center, which housed the Qatar Academy, a private school for elementary and high school students. Only two years later, in 1998, the Education City saw the first of a group of world-class universities arrive to establish branch campuses. The pioneer was the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. It was followed by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (2002), Texas A&M University at Qatar and the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute (2003), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (2004), and most recently, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (2005). Additionally, since 2001, Education City has been home to the Academic Bridge Program, whose role is to provide top graduates of high schools in Qatar, and elsewhere in the region, with the academic and personal skills needed for success in English-language university programs, particularly those in Education City.

Other projects currently being developed by the Qatar Foundation are the Qatar Science & Technology Park, which will house technology-based companies and entrepreneurs, and will link the Education City universities with industry; the Sidra Medical & Research Centre, a specialty teaching hospital for pediatric and high-risk OB patients, which will serve as the primary teaching venue for Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; and a state-of-the- art conference and convention centre.

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