By Ed Attwood
US investigation reveals scope of expenses for American colleges based in country's Education City
The Qatar Foundation is paying more than $400 million a year to fund the operations of six American universities who have set up shop in Education City, an investigation has found.
The Washington Post quoted US tax records, US Education Department data and public records in Virginia and Texas to come up with the figure.
The sum, which refers to 2014, includes: $121.7 million for Weill Cornell Medical College; $76.2 million for Texas A&M University at Qatar; $60.3 million for Carnegie Mellon; $59.5 million for Georgetown; $45.3 million for Northwestern and $41.8 million for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
The Education City campus was launched in 1998, with a view to boosting Qatar’s development as a “modern, knowledge-based economy”.
Other than the six US schools, one British, one French and one Qatari university are also present on the campus.
The Washington Post said it had obtained the figure for Texas A&M’s Education City after a public records request. The newspaper reported that the Qatar Foundation’s lawyers had objected to the disclosure, saying that it would “undoubtedly cause competitive harm”.
In February, Illinois-based Northwestern said it had signed a 10-year extension to its current agreement with the Qatar Foundation, which will see it continue to operate in Education City until at least 2028.
Also in February, Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani was named as the Qatar Foundation’s new chief executive, replacing previous president Saad Al Muhannadi.