10 Most Affordable Universities in Qatar for International Students

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Qatar, a country in the Middle East, takes pride in being one of the richest countries in the world. With its economic growth over the years, Qatar has chosen to reform its educational system to attract talented international students to its soil. 

Furthermore, the country has reputable universities like Hammad Bin Khalifa University and Qatar University (this university ranks among the top 500 universities in the Times Higher Education). In addition, the country also has international universities like Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical School, and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

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Note that these universities provide affordable education with quality facilities from the school level to the research level.

In this article, AfterSchoolAfrica looks at the top 10 most affordable Universities in Qatar for international students. 

Top 10 Most Affordable Universities in Qatar for International Students

1. University of Qatar

The University of Qatar, Doha, is a public research institution. The school is a government-owned and operated institution providing quality education to over 15,000 students (local and international). 

Additionally, the school teaches in Arabic but also offers English-taught programs in courses like business, engineering, and Arabic Natural science. The school also provides a ‘foundation program’ that allows international students to get acquainted with necessary skills in math, the English language, and computing technology.

Furthermore, the population of the school consists of over 52 nationalities, making up 35%. It therefore one of the most affordable universities for international students in Qatar. Note that international students can also get scholarships!

2. Stenden Qatar University

  • Undergraduate tuition fee: $23,000

The Stenden Qatar University, Bin Omran, Doha, is an international branch of the Stenden University of Applied Sciences, which is a prominent university in the Netherlands. Its Qatar campus, established in 2000, is a joint venture between Al Rayyan Education and Stenden University.

As affordable as it is, the school provides quality education for around 500 students studying Bachelor’s programs including International Business, International Hospitality Management, and Tourism Management.

Note that Tourism education is a focal point for the school as a means to bolster Qatar’s tourism through proper education and licensing of guides.

3. Texas A&M University, Qatar Branch

Texas A&M University has a branch in Qatar. The school is an international private university that provides education for over 600 undergraduates and postgraduates. The purpose of this university is to bring the standard of education in the USA to Qatar. 

Their education system focuses on chemical, mechanical, electrical, and petroleum engineering.

Furthermore, note that the admission standards at this affordable university follow the same process as those at its sister university in the United States. Additionally, about 30% of the student population is made up of international students.

4. Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar (VCUArts Qatar)

Virginia Commonwealth University, founded in 1998, is the first university in Qatar’s Education City in Doha. The institution offers degrees under the Bachelor of Fine Arts, which include graphic design, fashion design, interior design, painting, and printmaking, as well as Art History and design.

In 2019, the school increased its international student population to over 35 different nationalities. Since then, the institution has grown to become one of the most affordable and prominent institutions of art in Qatar.

5. Northwestern University, Qatar Branch

This school is the Doha-based international campus of Northwestern University in the United States. Founded in 2008, the school offers courses in liberal arts and media studies for its students.

Additionally, it provides affordable education and degrees in journalism, communication, and strategic communication. In contrast to the US branch, the Qatar campus follows a 15-week semester system rather than the 10-week quarter system.

Furthermore, international students have the option of visiting the main Illinois campus of Northwestern University. 

6. Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar

Carnegie Mellon University, established in 2004, is the fourth international campus to be created in Qatar. The school provides education for undergraduate students, several doctoral programs, and degrees that are similar to those at its main campus in Pittsburgh. Its undergraduate degrees include Business Administration, Information Systems, Computer Science, and Biological Sciences.

Furthermore, the school has over 400 students from over 38 different countries in the world. Additionally, they have a wide and varied alumni network, numbering over 800 across 11 graduating classes.

7. Georgetown University

Georgetown University, United States, established in 2005, The school is located on the campus in the Education City of Doha. The school is supported by a partnership between the Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.

Additionally, the school provides degree programs for over 400 students. The focus degree is the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service within four majors such as Culture and Politics, International History, and International Economics.

Furthermore, the school also offers the Center for International and Regional Studies, which is a research-based program that focuses on creating solutions to issues plaguing the Middle East. International students also have the opportunity to join a student union and several student organizations.

8. Hamad Bin Khalifa University

The public university, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), in the Education City of Doha, is a member of the Qatar Foundation of Education, Science, and Community Development. The school, established in 2010, has grown in diversity and is a top choice for international students coming to Qatar. 

The school provides degree programs in Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, translation studies, law, life sciences, and sustainable development.

Furthermore, the institution is a research-based school that provides affordable education and plays a critical role in the development of Qatar. Note that international students at the university come from over 50 different nationalities.

9. Community College of Qatar

The Community College of Qatar, founded in 2010, is aimed at bolstering the development of the country through partial fulfillment of the country’s educational goals. The school was built in collaboration with Houston Community College.

The school aims to allow international students to learn and contribute to the growth of Qatar and the world at large. This is why they provide 2-year academic diploma programs that allow students to transfer to full-time degrees at the university level.

Additionally, this university is affordable and offers career-oriented programs that will prepare international students with the skills to join the country’s workforce. Currently, the university has over 5,000 students spread across 5 different campuses.

10. Qatar Aeronautical College

Qatar Aeronautical College, founded in 1977, is one of the oldest aviation schools in the Middle Eastern region. The school is a leading provider of aviation education as well as training for the aviation industry in the Middle East.

The mission of the school is to prepare a ‘generation of leaders in the field of civil aviation through the development and improvement of training opportunities and education.’ Note that full-time programs at this university are affordable, and range from pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers to air traffic controllers and meteorologists.

FAQs about Education in Qatar

Is there free education in Qatar?

University education in Qatar is not free unless you get a 100% scholarship from an institution or your home country. Otherwise, students will have to pay tuition for the duration of their studies.

How much does it usually cost to study in Qatar?

This depends on the institution of study, program, and length of study. However, the cost of university education in Qatar for both local and international students is an average of around QR 72,000 per semester ($19,800). 

Are there any scholarship opportunities for students?

Yes, a majority of the universities in Qatar offer a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, and funding schemes for international students, both local and international. Examples include the Islamic Scholarships and the GCC State Scholarships. Additionally, note that these scholarships can be obtained from the country of application as well.

Launching Your Career In Qatar

If you are planning to migrate to Qatar for work purposes, then an employer from the country has to assist you. After searching for a job and landing one, it is the responsibility of your employer to apply for a residency visa for you. Afterward, the Ministry of Labor will provide you with a work visa to enable you to work legally in the country. Important documents you need to get a work permit are listed below:

  • Proof of work contract
  • Application form
  • Emirates ID card
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photos
  • Medical check and health certificate documents
  • Entry permit

It is important to note that you have to cancel your work visa if you are leaving the country. The consequences of not doing this are that you will be tagged as an absconder and might be arrested upon entry again. 

Prepare Your Work Permit And Health Card

There are specific requirements you will need to meet before getting your health card while the processing of your visa is still being done. These documents will be submitted to the Department of Health and Medical Services. Other information will be provided upon submission. These documents include 

  • Medical records
  • Passport copies
  • Photos
  • Job offer letter
  • Visa application

Prepare Your CV And Apply For Jobs Online

The labor market is generally competitive. As a professional seeking to start a new career, ensure you have an excellent CV and cover letter. Additionally, maximize the use of media tools and platforms like LinkedIn to search for and apply for jobs online. 

Let’s Help You

Wondering how to go about your admissions processing at schools in Qatar? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back! Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to study abroad due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you, as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consulting services for international students to help make their journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey. 


  • Okechukwu Liberty is a graduate of Mass Communication and a content writer for AfterSchoolAfrica. He is dedicated to researching scholarship and empowerment opportunities to students looking to study abroad.

    Content Research Writer