American universities announced that their branch campuses in Qatar were operating normally while they monitored diplomatic developments. US Universities in Qatar monitor Diplomatic Chaos in the on-going crisis within the Gulf Countries.
This article published in USNews.com on June 5, 2017, written by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press elaborates on the confusing situation.
“American universities said branch campuses in Qatar were operating normally Monday while they monitored diplomatic developments in the Gulf nation.
After Saudi Arabia and other Arab powers severed diplomatic ties and shut down land, sea and air links with the energy-rich nation, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University, Georgetown University, Virginia Commonwealth University said they were keeping their Qatar faculty and students informed while summer classes continued.
“The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are top priorities of the university,” Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said in a statement echoed by the others.
The universities, along with Weill Cornell Medical College and Carnegie Mellon University, have programs in Qatar’s “Education City” complex, which was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development to enable Qataris and others to earn U.S. degrees without going abroad.
Qatar has denied the allegations.
“It is too early to know the real impact on VCU Qatar, including travel plans of our students, faculty and staff,” said Pamela DiSalvo Lepley, spokeswoman at Virginia Commonwealth University, whose Qatar campus has 28 students enrolled for the summer session. About 365 students are enrolled during the academic year.
The Qatar Foundation was established in 1995 by then-ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Members of the ruling family and influential government ministers serve as trustees and directors.
Two students from the countries that severed relations are enrolled at Northwestern University-Qatar for the summer, out of 90 overall, Cubbage said. Fewer than 20 students from the Gulf countries are enrolled at that school for the fall.
Carnegie Mellon said it was conferring with the State Department and monitoring the situation. “The university will offer any necessary assistance to any members of our community who may be affected,” the university said in a statement.
The university doesn’t have a summer session but said there were currently a “small number of students on campus.” During the academic year, about 400 students are enrolled at its Qatar campus. Cornell University declined to comment to The Associated Press.”
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