Qatar campus hosts welcome

Nathalie Tadena

The first class of students accepted into Northwestern’s Qatar campus attended a special reception at the school’s facilities in Doha last week.

Medill School of Journalism and the School of Communication will offer classes in Doha starting this fall as part of the Education City initiative funded by the Qatar Foundation, a private organization founded by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar. NU joins five other American schools in the Education City: Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Texas A&M and Virginia Commonwealth universities.

More than 25 students and their parents attended the reception, said John Margolis, the dean of the Qatar campus.

“They were a very impressive group,” Margolis said. “My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to welcoming them to NU-Q in August.”

Following the reception for admitted students, prospective students had the opportunity to speak with Medill Associate Dean Richard Roth and School of Communication Associate Dean Mimi White, as well as current Communication and Medill students about student life and academics in a video conference from Evanston. This was also the first time students had a chance to speak with members of the faculty who will be teaching in Qatar.

White and Roth have already met several of the students in the Qatar Medill and Communication inaugural classes. They had traveled to Doha to conduct interviews as part of the application evaluation process, White said.

More than 100 applicants applied to the communication and journalism programs. Because this is the Qatar campus’ first class of students, it is difficult to anticipate how many students will decide to attend, White said.

Administrators have a long-term goal to enroll a class of 40 students every year – 20 in the communication program and 20 in journalism.

While the majority of the accepted class is female, applicants represented many different nationalities, including students from Bangladesh, Brazil and Canada, Roth said.

Northwestern’s Qatar campus is the only school in Qatar to offer a journalism program, so “those who applied have a high interest to be a journalist,” he said.

The Qatar campus shares many similarities with the Evanston campus. Applicants were evaluated on the same standards as those applying to NU’s home campus, and the coursework offered in Doha will be similar to media courses already offered at NU.

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