Nfld. & Labrador

College of the North Atlantic renews contract with Qatar

The College of the North Atlantic will continue to operate its college campus in Qatar until at least 2019.

CNA middle east campus will operate until at least 2019

CNA students in Qatar use an online tool to register for their courses. According to CNA, nearly 65 per cent of students at the college are from Qatar. (Courtesy College of the North Atlantic Qatar)

The College of the North Atlantic will keep its campus in Qatar for at least three more years.

CNA and the government of Qatar have signed a three-year extension to their contract, making the announcement at a ceremony in the Qatari Embassy in Ottawa on Tuesday.

The College of the North Atlantic opened its campus in Qatar in 2001, and employs about 600 staff and teaches 2,100 students in the middle east country.

According to CNA, its campus is the first co-educational institution in Qatar, and was the first to develop an "English for [a] specific purpose" program.

"Both the college and representatives from the State of Qatar expressed their pride in College of the North Atlantic–Qatar and its role as that country's premier technical college," CNA said in a news release on Tuesday.

"Both are looking forward to moving forward together while contributing to the national vision of the Middle East state."

Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne poses for a photo with representatives from the CNA campus in Qatar in 2016. (Courtesy College of the North Atlantic Qatar)

In a statement, Education Minister Gerry Byrne said he was happy a deal was reached.

"Through strong partnerships, CNA–Q will continue to deliver a quality education to the future leaders of the Qatari and global workforce," he wrote.

CNA said the deal is the largest international post-secondary agreement for a Canadian college. The buildings on the CNA campus are owned by the government of Qatar.

About 2,100 students are enrolled in programs at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar. (CBC)