Qatar cracks down on university lessons in English – report

From next semester, some courses will now be in Arabic only
Qatar cracks down on university lessons in English – report
By Shane McGinley
Tue 10 Jul 2012 11:50 AM

Qatar is cracking down on the use of English as the dominant language for university lessons, with the country’s largest university dropping English in favour of Arabic from the start of the next academic year, according to a report on Tuesday.

Following a decree by Qatar's Supreme Education Council, Qatar University, the country's largest third level educational institution, all lessons in business, economics, media and international affairs will be solely in Arabic from the next semester, the Financial Times newspaper reported.

However, courses in engineering and science will remain in English.

Previously, lessons were held in English and Arabic speaking students enrolled in a foundation programme to learn English before entering their degree programme.

Arabic students will now bypass this foundation programme and proceed directly to their chosen course.

In a country where local Qataris are in the minority, the move has proved controversial. Looking to promote itself as a knowledge hub, Qatar is also trying to balance this against preserving its language and culture from being diluted.

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