Purdue will become the seventh American university to offer field-specific programs in Qatar this fall.

The University is expanding its global presence in the Middle East as it prepares to launch an aviation technology program in Qatar. According to Robert Cox, the associate dean for globalization and engagement for the College of Technology, Qatari students will be able to obtain a Purdue bachelor’s degree in aviation management or aviation operations technology after receiving an aviation-related associate degree from Qatar Aeronautical College. The intent of the program is to increase the students’ chances for admission into the Purdue BS degree program in aviation management.

“Qatar Airways employs more than 30,000 employees and their goal is to increase the number of Qatari employees within their organization,” Cox explained. “Part of that is working with Purdue to provide degreed offerings that would support growing (aviation) operations management.”

An initial startup team comprised of Purdue faculty and staff will work closely with the Qatar Aeronautical College to increase the rigor and quality of the existing curriculum for the first three years of the program. The University plans to establish the same curricula and education standards as the West Lafayette campus so that by the third year, Purdue and Qatari students alike would have the option of studying at either campus.

“That whole region of the world, especially in the aviation profession, is becoming the major hub for air transport,” Cox said. “The other thing we’re really excited about … is the research side that comes out of it with Qatar Research Foundation, as well as the industry potential that comes with it.”

Cox hopes the An added benefit of the program is the expansion of Purdue’s global outreach. The University’s presence in the Middle East helps introduce Purdue to students in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

The program, Purdue University at Qatar, will start by September.