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HEC joins Education City, Doha 29, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, The Emirates.
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HEC Paris, one of the world’s top business schools, is joining various illustrious American institutions in Qatar’s Education City. It will offer MBAs as well as what The National describes as “coursework in executive education and research programmes.” The University is sensibly aiming at the part-time market so that business executives in Doha can study in the evenings. One of the problems of being based in Qatar is that professionals wanting professional development have to go back to Europe or America for such courses.

It can surely only be a matter of time before Masters level qualifications aimed at the oil and gas sector are inaugurated at one of Education City’s American institutions.

More generally, there are rumors afoot that some of the institutions in Education City are [choose your adjective] scared/terrified/concerned/worried about NYU in Abu Dhabi. Specifically, some are perturbed that this august institution with a truly bottomless budget and – crucially – no mandatory limit of the percentage of nationals to attend the University (i.e. a pure meritocracy), will poach staff and students from Education City. At the absolute least, it will provide the stiffest of competition.

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1. Abu 'Argala - 29, January 2010

Three things that prospective students should investigate when considering attending an overseas program by a foreign university:
(1) depth and breadth of class offerings
(2) identity and quality of the professors teaching
(3) management of the program

On the first topic, one of the problems that foreign universities face in setting up overseas programs is that they cannot offer the range of classes that they do back home. So many of the international MBA programs even in major cities like London offer much less course selection. While they may have 10 or so finance courses at the main campus, their overseas programs may only offer two.

Second, one of the things that makes a degree from a particular university worthwhile is the chance to take classes from leading professors. The question then is whether those leading professors teach at the satellite campus. In fact that is a question for the student to ask, if the student intends to attend night school. Will Scholes or Damodaran teach? And there is quite a difference between having a professor parachuted in for a two week period than having him on campus the entire term.

Third, some schools franchise their names and turn over the running the programs to other institutions. That can be, but is not necessarily, the same as buying a car with the nameplate Mercedes but that has been manufactured by Geely.

davidbroberts - 29, January 2010

I’ve heard that NYU’s course selection will be utterly devoid of anything referring to the modern middle east. Plenty of liberal arty American focused stuff though.

It’ll be fascinating to see their student body given that there’s minimum Emirati quota.

If it replicates Doha’s experience, it will improve the national Emirati Universities. QU has, so I’m told, improved significantly thanks to Education City’s competition. It also musn’t be forgotten that QU and national universities like it will always be there. American ones, parachuted in in times of huge financial largess? Not quite as permanent. Not to mention the vagaries of the political climate.

Thanks for your comments as always.


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