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Qatar Foundation, Texas A&M end partnership

February 10, 2024 at 10:56 am

The national flag of Qatar [Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images]

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development announced the end of its partnership with Texas A&M University, which specialises in engineering, noting that the step came after a widespread disinformation campaign. Sources revealed that a pro-Israel institute in Washington pushed for tension in the relationship between the two educational institutions.

The partnership termination was announced following the issuance of a decision by the Texas A&M University’s Board of Regents, while The Qatar Foundation stated its commitment to ensuring the continuity of education for current students at its partner university.

According to information received by Al-Quds Al-Arabi Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy sent a statement to the US university calling on it to end the partnership, given that Qatar has a role in supporting Palestine and Gaza and is leading mediation efforts to end the Israeli war on Gaza.

The US university denied this, stating the decision was made before and had already been planned, noting the decision was due to “heightened instability” in the region.

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Texas A&M system spokesperson Mike Reilly expressed in a written statement: “The misinformation campaign had no bearing on Thursday’s decision by the Board of Regents.” He noted that the decision was made: “Following a close analysis of the university’s mission and the evolving political situation in the Middle East. Discussions about branch and remote campuses are ongoing and had begun before false information was reported about Texas A&M and Qatar.”

Executive Director of Strategy, Management and Partnerships within Qatar Foundation’s Higher Education division Hend Zainal conveyed in a statement: “The decision of Texas A&M University’s Board of Regents to end its partnership with QF has been influenced by a disinformation campaign aimed at harming the interests of QF. It is disturbing that this disinformation has become the determining factor in the decision and that it has been allowed to override the core principles of education and knowledge, with no consideration for the significant positive impact this partnership has brought for both Qatar and the US.”

“It is deeply disappointing that a globally respected academic institution like Texas A&M University has fallen victim to such a campaign and allowed politics to infiltrate its decision-making processes. At no point did the Board attempt to seek out the truth from QF before making this misguided decision. However, decisions based on any consideration other than the best interests of students and their pursuit of education and knowledge will not impact on our vision for higher education at QF, and our strategy for realising this vision,” Zainal added.

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