“At Doha College, doing well academically is seen as cool,” says Principal Dr Steffen Sommer. “It’s our culture. Our students stand out because they are incredibly mature for their age, open-minded, focused and have a can-do attitude. They are academically able, linguistically agile, ambitious self-starters who want to change things.”

Founded in 1980 by the British Embassy, the selective, fee-paying, not-for-profit Doha College was set up to serve the British diplomatic community and British ex-pats working in the oil and gas industries. It now has around 2,000 pupils, aged 3 to 18, from 90 different countries.


A British education

“We see ourselves as an integral part of Qatar,” says Dr Sommer. “The traditional British education that we provide rests on three main pillars: high academic achievement, a strong pastoral system and all-embracing extracurricular activities – from the arts and sports to the Duke of Edinburgh award programme to the Model United Nations. One of our main objectives is transferability, meaning that students who have been at Doha College will be able, at any stage, to transfer seamlessly back to any school in the UK.”

The college has strong links with royalty in Qatar (the Emir and his sisters are alumni) and the UK (Princess Anne and Prince Edward have both visited in recent years). In addition, Doha College was the first school in Qatar to be awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag from the Foundation for Environmental Education and is the region’s only High Performance Learning school.

“We believe all children have the ability to achieve the highest grades,” says Dr Sommer. “They just need to be guided correctly and highly motivated, with top-level teachers and tailored resources. That’s why our exam results are so exceptional, with close to 70 per cent of students achieving A and A* grades at A level. Our students also move on to top universities worldwide and find top jobs.”

Having been shortlisted as British International School of the Year, 2017, the future for Doha College looks bright. A new campus is currently under construction, bringing the primary and secondary schools together into one location, and a three-year development plan has just been put into action. “We are currently in the top 10 British International Schools in the world,” says Dr Sommer. “We want to drive our academic standards and achievement even higher, so that we will enter the top five.”