Hosting US branch campuses 'costs Qatar £280 million annually'

Education City's spending for stateside outposts pieced together by The Washington Post

March 15, 2016
Texas A&M University in Doha, Qatar
Source: iStock
Texas A&M University in Doha, Qatar

Qatar spends more than $400 million (£282 million) annually on hosting branch campuses of six leading US universities, according to a report.

That total includes a $76.2 million payment to Texas A&M University from the Qatar Foundation for the operation of an engineering campus at Doha’s Education City complex, details of which were disclosed to The Washington Post after a ruling from Texas’ state attorney general, despite opposition by the foundation.

The five other universities with presences at Education City refused to release details of their operating costs, but the Post said that it had pieced together a picture of the project’s finances using US records.

It estimated that Weill Cornell Medical College, an outpost of Cornell University’s medical school, had been the most expensive institution in 2014, costing the Qatar Foundation $121.7 million.

Costs for Carnegie Mellon University’s business and computer science campus were estimated at $60.3 million, compared with $59.5 million for Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar and $45.3 million for Northwestern University’s communication and journalism outpost.

The cheapest partnership was Virginia Commonwealth University’s fine arts campus, estimated to cost $41.8 million annually.

This puts the total – which does not include construction or other operation expenses at Education City – at $404.8 million.

University College London also has an outpost in Qatar, specialising in heritage studies.

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