Located within the Middle East, the country of Qatar takes pride as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Owing to its effective trade in fuel, the nation underwent a rapid surge in development and wealth.
With this stunning growth in the economy, the country has chosen to invest efficiently in reforming and internationalizing its higher education system. Individuals such as Sheikha Moza bint Nasser have been instrumental figures who have led these educational and social reforms. In this article, we will be looking at the most affordable universities in Qatar.
Qatar is home to an increasing number of world-class universities such as the Hammad Bin Khalifa University and the Qatar University (which currently holds rank in the Times Higher Education Top 500 global universities).
In addition to these premier institutions, the country is also home to numerous international branches of foreign universities, including prestigious names such as Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical School, and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
These cheap institutions in Qatar are located in Qatar’s iconic Education City, an initiative that houses a wide range of the country’s educational facilities from a school level to a research-level.
However, this outstanding educational excellence does not always come with a high price. In fact, several universities in the country come with affordable tuition fees, let alone the provision of several funding opportunities.
In this article, we will list a few of the universities in Qatar that have low and very affordable tuition fees for their students, solely for your consideration.
Is there free education in Qatar?
Unfortunately, despite the educational excellence of universities, higher education in Qatar is not completely free (unless students achieve a 100% scholarship from an institution or from their home country). Students are required to pay tuition for the duration of their studies.
How much does it usually cost to study in Qatar?
This figure usually depends on the higher education institution that a student is pursuing their studies at. However, local and international students tend to pay the same fees, which averages around QR 72,000 per semester (approximately $19,800). Aside from the costs of tuition fees, Qatar tends to be a country with a high standard (and subsequently cost) of living.
Are there any scholarship opportunities for students?
Yes, there are! In addition to the affordable tuition fees, a majority of the universities in Qatar offer a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, and funding schemes for students, both local and international. Examples include the Islamic Scholarships and the GCC state scholarships. Additionally, scholarships can be obtained from the country of application as well.
Cheap Universities in Qatar
1. University of Qatar
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $16,000
- Tuition Link
The University of Qatar is a public research university located in Doha, Qatar. In addition to being the only government-operated university in the country, this cheap university in Qatar provides education for over 15,000 students of both local and international status.
The degrees are mostly administered in Arabic but a wide range of courses are provided in English, particularly in the business, engineering, and natural science courses. Undergraduate freshmen typically have to enter a ‘foundation program’ in order to get acquainted with necessary skills in maths, English language, and computing technology.
Furthermore, the university’s student population consists of over 52 nationalities making up 35%. You should definitely take a look at one of the cheapest universities in Qatar for international students, and the good news is that it gives a bunch of scholarships to international students!
2. Stenden Qatar University
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $23,000
Located in Bin Omran, Doha, the Stenden Qatar University is an international branch of the Stenden University of Applied Sciences, a prominent university in the Netherlands. The Qatar campus was established in 2000 as a joint venture between Al Rayyan Education and Stenden University, which was terminated in 2020.
As this cheap university in Qatar only had recent inception, it provides education for around 500 students studying 3 Bachelor’s programs including International Business, International Hospitality Management, and Tourism Management.
Tourism is a focal point of the university’s education system as an agreement was signed with the Qatar Tourism Authority as means of bolstering the country’s tourism through proper education and licensing of guides.
3. Texas A&M University – Qatar Branch
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $27,000
- Tuition Link
Established in 2003, the Texas A&M University of Qatar is an international private university located in the Education City in Al Rayyan. Providing education for a student population of over 600 undergraduate and postgraduates, the university was opened as a venture to ‘import high-quality education from the United States to Qatar using the oil and natural gas riches of the tiny Persian Gulf nation’.
Education focuses on these areas in particular, such as chemical, mechanical, electrical, and petroleum engineering.
Admission standards at this cheap university in Qatar tend to follow the same process as TAMU in the United States. Furthermore, approximately 30% of the student population consists of international students and the university also proudly boasts one of the highest percentages of women who study engineering courses (at 40%).
4. Virginia Commonwealth University – Qatar (VCUArts Qatar)
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $32,000
- Tuition Link
Established in 1998, the Virginia Commonwealth University is the Qatari branch of the School of Arts of Virginia Commonwealth University of the United States. It was the first university to be established in Qatar’s Education City in Doha.
The VCUArts Qatar offers multiple degrees under the Bachelor of Fine Arts, which include graphic design, fashion design, interior design, painting & printmaking as well as Art History and design.
As of 2019, the university offers courses for a select number of students numbering approximately 400, who come from over 35 different nationalities. Interesting, the VCUArts was originally a women-only institution of higher education before it expanded into accepting men in 2008. It has since grown into becoming one of the most prominent institutions of art in Qatar.
5. Northwestern University – Qatar Branch
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $ 57,000
- Tuition Link
Northwestern University Qatar (NU-Q) is the international campus of the renowned Northwestern University of the United States. Located in the Education City in Doha, the university was founded in 2008 and offers a focus on liberal arts and media studies for its students.
Undergraduate degrees include journalism, communication, and strategic communication. These degrees follow close integration with the main departments of the United States campus with the main difference being the fact that the Qatar campus follows a 15-week semester system rather than the 10-week quarter system.
NU-Q students have the option of visiting the main Illinois campus of Northwestern University. Furthermore, an additional unique privilege is the fact that students at NU-Q are able to select courses offered by specific universities located in Education City.
6. Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $58,000
- Tuition Link
Located in the Education City, Carnegie Mellon University was established in 2004 and is the fourth international campus to be created in Qatar. The university caters primarily to undergraduate students but also includes several doctoral research that is being conducted. offers degrees similar to that of its main campus in Pittsburgh. Undergraduate degrees include Business Administration, Information Systems, Computer Science, and Biological Sciences.
It currently provides education for over 400 students who come from over 38 different countries in the world. The university further boasts a wide and varied alumni network numbering over 800 across 11 graduating classes.
7. Georgetown University
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $55,000
- Tuition Link
Georgetown University of the United States established its international campus in the Education City of Doha in 2005. GU-Qatar is supported by a partnership between the Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.
Currently, the university offers degrees for over 400 students. The preliminary degree offered by GU-Qatar is the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service within four majors such as Culture and Politics, International History, and International Economics.
The campus also houses the Center for International and Regional Studies which is a prestigious research institute that focuses on tackling issues in the Middle Eastern region. Students also have access to a very active students union with the availability of several student organizations.
8. Hamad Bin Khalifa University
- Undergraduate tuition fee: From $50,000
- Tuition Link
Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is a public university located in the Education City of Doha. Being a member of the Qatar Foundation of Education, Science, and Community Development, the university was established very recently in 2010 and has grown to include a diverse student body exceeding 700.
An array of degrees are offered by the university ranging from Islamic studies, middle eastern studies, translation studies, law, life sciences, and sustainable development.
Research at HBKU is critical to the university’s development and ethos and it plays a critical development in formulating the integrity of Qatar. Students at the university come from over 50 different nationalities with only 38% of the population consisting of Qatari nationals.
9. Community College of Qatar
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $20,000
- Tuition Link
The Community College of Qatar was established in 2010 as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 in order to bolster the development of the country through partial fulfillment of the country’s educational goals. It was built in collaboration with the Houston Community College.
The main mission of the CCQ is to provide a wide array of educational opportunities for its students; these include 2-year academic diploma programs which will enable students to transfer to full-time degrees at the university level.
Additionally, this cheap university in Qatar also offers 2+2 academic programs and career-oriented programs which will enable to meet the country’s requirements for the workforce. Today, the college is one of the most rapidly developing institutions of higher education in the country with an increasing student enrolment of 5000+ students spread across 5 different campuses.
10. Qatar Aeronautical College
- Undergraduate tuition fee: $15,000
- Tuition Link
Qatar Aeronautical College is one of the oldest aviation schools in the Middle Eastern region. Established in 1977, the QAC has become the Gulf region’s leading provider in aviation education as well as training for the aviation industry.
Its mission is to prepare a ‘generation of leaders in the field of civil aviation through the development and improvement of training opportunities and education.’ Full-time courses at this cheap university in Qatar are provided for a range of careers ranging from pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers to air traffic controllers and meteorologists.
The college also offers a multitude of short-term courses depending on the requirements of the prospective students.
I hope that this article on cheap universities in Qatar was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Cheap Tuition Category!