Texas A&M to Close Qatar Campus

Texas A&M University announced on February 8 that it will close its campus in Qatar by 2028. “The Board has decided that the core mission of Texas A&M should be advanced primarily within Texas and the United States,” the chairman of the university’s Board of Regents stated. The Board also cited “heightened instability in the Middle East” as a reason to close Texas A&M’s Doha campus.

Texas A&M partnered with the Qatar Foundation (QF) in 2003 to open a satellite campus in Doha, Qatar. The Qatar Foundation, which is backed by the Qatari royal family, claimed that Texas A&M’s decision to shut its Qatar campus was the result of a “disinformation campaign aimed at harming the interest of QF.” The Qatar Foundation said it was “deeply disappointing” that Texas A&M had “fallen victim to such a campaign and allowed politics to infiltrate its decision-making process.”

Expert Analysis

“Given legitimate national security concerns, not to mention the abhorrence of any partnership with a state sponsor of Hamas, the university is finally making the right decision to distance itself from Qatar. The question now is whether other universities like Northwestern — a school partnering with Qatar and Al-Jazeera — will follow suit. Schools that receive federal money should not be taking contributions from or otherwise partnering with Qatar.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Georgetown, Northwestern, Carnegie Melon, Weill Cornell, and VA Commonwealth University should all follow in the footsteps of Texas A&M, shut down their campuses in Doha, and sever their ties with the Qatar Foundation, a government agency. It is high time that these universities stop letting Qatar — the biggest sponsor of terrorist groups in the region, including Hamas — use their hard-earned academic reputation in education washing Doha’s image.” — Hussain Abdul-Hussain, FDD Research Fellow

Education City

Texas A&M’s Doha campus is part of the QF’s Education City, a 12-square kilometer campus housing multiple academic centers and institutions. In addition to Texas A&M, five American universities operate campuses in Education City: Georgetown, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Academic collaboration with Qatar — and the presence of American universities in Doha — raises national security concerns given Qatar’s ties to Hamas, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations. In January 2024, the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy released a report warning that Qatar had received ownership rights to sensitive nuclear technology and weapons manufacturing research through its partnership with Texas A&M.

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