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Tue 10 Jul 2012 11:50 AM

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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

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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Dr Carl Saunders 7 years ago

Qatar "cracks down" on English???

I think the writer needs to calm down a bit. You can "crack down" on alcohol, drugs and illicit gambling, but English?

Perhaps we should "crack down" on 3rd rate journalists who are prone to overdo headline cliches and journalistic jargon!

This article is so poorly written, he hasn't even explained the reasons why the Qatar education council has decided to drop English.

Suleyman 7 years ago

Well said. The comment would apply to much of AB unfortunately.

procan 7 years ago

I know Qatar strives to be a world class tourist destination but using the Arabic language seems like a lot to handle for huge crowds of western tourist who are in country for 2 weeks. I