Volume 2013, Issue 1
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


This paper presents a summary of the results of a one-year student-faculty research project on environmental sustainability in Qatar's prime knowledge economy vehicle, the Qatar Foundation (QF), and its home, Education City (EC), in Doha. The project's main objective was to produce new information on the emergence of environmental sustainability policy and practice on the QF's agenda from a number of angles. The research team adopted a multi-level, multi-method approach to the topic, analyzing developments on three hierarchically interlinked levels: (i) strategic priorities of the State of Qatar and QF; (ii) initiatives and projects in EC; and (iii) individual attitudes and self-reported behavior of EC undergraduate students. A variety of research methods were employed, including document-based analysis, semi-structured interviews and survey research. The survey, administered in November 2012-February 2013, yielded a sample of 114 responses. Highlights of the survey analysis are presented in this summary paper.

The study is believed to have been the first comprehensive look at the evolution of QF's ambitious agenda to investigate, implement and promote environmental sustainability in EC. In addition to understanding the rationale underpinning the QF's commitment, the study also explored how the QF's goals are implemented by QF divisions and university administrations. Also, how EC's different sustainability programs are understood and received by its core constituency, the students. QF's commitment to environmental sustainability is both a key contributor to Qatar's national development and a significant component of its global brand. Therefore, understanding the achievements and challenges in translating ideals of environmental sustainability into practice in EC not only provides a useful basis upon which programs and initiatives may be strengthened and expanded, but also offers important lessons for other institutions in the country and the region. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations, based on the results of the research, relating to improving the effectiveness of sustainability policy in Education City.

The project was funded through the Qatar National Research Fund's Undergraduate Research Experience Program.


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