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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Breaking away from the Branch Campus model? I hope not.

A very interesting InsideHigherEd article on branch campus development has recently been written - and as noted by another friend and educator in the field, it contains very interesting perspectives on the model...and does not mention the current model being employed in Qatar!

I found it interesting that Qatar was missing from the main context of the article.  Given it's unique status and 'campus' construction, I suppose one could argue that it's not a standard model by which other countries could use.  I disagree, of course.

In my research, I found that the native students gravitated to the Western style of education - they sought it out as being superior compared to their in-country options for study.  And it didn't stop there.  The students also sought out the environment and communal experience within their own cultural context.  In the case of Qatar, students had to negotiate various societal and familiar changes that in some cases proved difficult.  But the majority of students spoke to the positive about their overall experience (once family members were assured of the safe environment offered by the schools).

I'm excited about future research opportunities to expand on this, and hope I can get back to Doha soon to continue my work.  No doubt attitudes will continue to evolve as time progresses and new norms are developed. 

If you're interested in reading more about my research, please click here.

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