US university to shut Qatar campus citing Mideast instability
AFP | Doha
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Texas A&M is to close its Qatar campus, the US university said yesterday, blaming Middle East insecurity for the move, which drew criticism from its partner in the Gulf emirate.
The university said it had "decided to reassess the university’s physical presence in Qatar in fall 2023 due to the heightened instability in the Middle East".
"The board has decided that the core mission of Texas A&M should be advanced primarily within Texas and the United States," chairman Bill Mahomes said in a statement.
The winding down of the campus, which opened in 2003, is due to take four years. Colleges in the United States have faced intense political scrutiny, including accusations of anti-Semitism.
The Qatar Foundation, which partners with Texas A&M and half a dozen other US universities, said the decision had been "influenced by a disinformation campaign aimed at harming the interests of QF".
"It is disturbing that this disinformation has become the determining factor in the decision... with no consideration to the significant positive impact that this partnership has brought for both Qatar and the US," the non-profit said, without elaborating.
Texas A&M has previously been forced to deny unfounded accusations that its presence in Qatar gives the Gulf state access to sensitive research. US ambassador to Qatar Timmy Davis said he was "disappointed Texas A&M is taking steps to close its Qatar campus".
The campus "represents (US) values and inspires innovation for students who might otherwise not have access to an American education," he said.