Encourage non-academic global collaboration

Carnegie Mellon is taking the “global university” aspect of its strategic plan — a set of mission statements meant to guide the university — very seriously, especially with regard to the now robust Doha, Qatar campus. Opportunities to travel between the two campuses, which had once been limited to a select few, are gradually opening up, paving the way for sustained and fruitful interaction between the campuses.

This fall, Student Affairs is rolling out a new program called Initiating Meaningful Pittsburgh and Qatar Transactions (IMPAQT), which will allow up to 10 students the opportunity to travel to Doha for spring break and represent not only Carnegie Mellon, but their student organizations and hobbies. The program is an exciting step in creating strong social and educational bonds between the two campuses’ student bodies.

Importantly, while IMPAQT will give preference to candidates who can remain committed to the program for multiple years, the application process is open to anyone, meaning that students who have no academic reason to travel to Qatar may still be able to go.

Beyond IMPAQT, the Doha campus has begun a semester exchange program that it hopes will gain traction in many academic departments. Because Doha uses the same credit system and some of the same faculty as Carnegie Mellon, spending the semester in Doha is easier and more accessible for students interested in learning more about the Middle East than trying to go through a traditional third-party study abroad program.

These two programs stand alongside existing opportunities to live and work in Qatar as a teaching assistant, which, with the expanding array of classes Carnegie Mellon Qatar is starting to offer, will also expand over time.

However, while opportunities for undergrads are increasing in Qatar, graduate options remain thin. To meet the strategic plan’s goal of having Carnegie Mellon students become global citizens, they all — undergraduates and graduates — must not only study the globe but interact with it as well. We hope more programs like IMPAQT will be started, such as programs specifically for graduate students or with the university’s other satellite campuses in Australia, Japan, the West Coast, and Greece.