In a report prepared by Shalina Catalani on the future of American universities abroad, the US advocacy group said that although there is a sense of academic freedom among students and faculty at Georgetown University in Qatar, it may be more important to self-control over the country’s internal issues. According to Ian Almond, a professor of world literature on campus, added that when it comes to talk on topics like service workers the situation can become complicated.
The site explained that Georgetown University is one of six US institutions invited by the Qatari government to come to Doha to transfer high-quality education to Qataris so that citizens do not have to travel abroad to pursue a university degree in the United States.
The report pointed out that Georgetown entered into a contract with Qatar Foundation which is a group owned and financed by the Qatar Royal family. “According to the agreement, universities will not be affected by what they should teach or how to teach” the Dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, Ahmed Dalal.
The report said that institutional values were questionable issues when running a university branch abroad. Georgetown University had to address the issue of migrant workers in Qatar and raised the issue of how a foreign institution could operate in a host country that did not reflect its standards or values.
The report stressed that there is always a risk that these things will not be translated on the ground, as was in the case of Christina Bogos. She was a graduate student at Georgetown University when she decided to attend the campus in Qatar. Her research focused on the rights of migrant workers in the Middle East.
“When I arrived in June 2016, I was barred from entering Doha, detained and told that I was on the security blacklist, I think it is related to some of my research on migrant workers,” the report quoted Bogus said. “It ended up by giving her a 30-day tourist visa. She often felt “uncomfortable” while on campus in Doha.
“I started doing my research and sometimes I was under physical and electronic surveillance,” she said. “They followed me on campus several times and watched me through my electronic chip. On August 3, 2016, my visa was refused and I had no choice but to return to the United States. “
Georgetown University, along with seven other universities have a campus in Qatar’s educational city, the construction of which relied heavily on expatriate workers, but these workers do not fall under the university’s fair employment policy, which is based on dignity and workers’ rights. Instead, Qatar University employees rely on the standards set by Qatar Foundation, a Qatar Development Organization founded by the Qatari royal family.