QU hits back at ‘baseless’ accusations

May 28, 2012 - 3:04:02 am

DOHA: Qatar University (QU) has hit back at its critics and said that accusations that there is no transparency in its administrative affairs and handling of finances are baseless.

The State Audit Bureau conducts the audit of the university’s finances and sometimes takes help from international experts as well, and so far there have been no complaints, said QU President, Sheikha Al Misnad.

“As a government institution we are closely monitored by the authorities concerned,” Al Misnad was quoted by Al Sharq as saying in her weekly address at the university.

Referring to criticisms by newspaper columnists and media reports, she, rejecting the criticisms, said the university is pursuing its goal of catering to the needs of the Qatari community.

About nationalising jobs at the university, the President said that the institution’s aim is to prepare Qatari students for the local jobs market and help nationalise jobs in various sectors, which cannot be achieved if QU has all Qatari staff.

“We need to rely on foreign experience and expertise since our aim is not to Qatarise jobs at QU but to make sure that more and more Qataris join the local jobs market,” she said.

At present 700 Qataris who are former students of QU are employed by the university. “We also send students for further studies overseas. Presently, 39 students are studying abroad on QU scholarships,” Al Misnad said.

She did not respond to accusations about alleged denial of admission to a lot of Qatari students in the past few years but said that QU expects excellent performance from its students and the fact that many of then have excelled in regional and global competitive events was proof enough that QU students are the best.

Meanwhile, a prominent newspaper columnist, Dr Mohamed Al Kubaisi, changing his anti-QU stance, wrote in Al Sharq yesterday in praise of the university and said that those who are making allegations about lack of transparency in QU affairs, whether administrative or financial, are saying so without any substance or evidence.

Al Misnad’s weekly address has, however, evoked sharp reactions in the Qatari community with some saying that she is just on the defense. “It is self-defense that she is indulging in,” wrote a Qatari commenting on a popular local social networking site.

“She did not address the real problems and her insistence was the same that we are improving. She is only hiring good teachers from overseas…how about solving students’ woes,” asked another commentator.

“The question is not about QU having 700 Qatari staff, the question is how about solving the problems of students,” asked another commentator.

Still another commentator, seemingly upset with QU’s policy of hiring non-Qatari teachers, said they are pampered with all kinds of allowances.