Qatar’s state university has recently been ranked as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world, putting it in the same league as the Sorbonne in France, Oxford in the UK and Yale in the US.
The book, which features photography by Guillaume de Laubier and is written by his colleague Jean Serroy, ranked Qatar’s oldest university as 22nd out of a total of 23 universities.
In a statement announcing the mention, QU said that the book featured photographs of its “libraries, reception halls and hidden gardens” accompanied by text describing its history and architecture.
Italy’s University of Bologna topped the list, with Spain’s University of Salamanca and the UK’s University of Oxford completing the top three.
Only one other university from the Middle East – Lebanon’s American University of Beirut – made the list.
QU’s distinctive campus in Duhail includes buildings that incorporate a more contemporary version of traditional wind towers.
The campus was designed by award-winning Egyptian architect Kamal Kafrawi in the 1970s and has been struggling in recent year to accommodate the university’s growing number of students.
In May 2014, QU announced plans for a major expansion of the site to accommodate a larger student body, from 15,000 currently to up to 25,000 people by 2019.
As part of a five-year master plan, the publicly-funded university is spending much of its QR500 million facilities budget on renovating or constructing 11 new buildings to cope with increased demand for places.
Four new college buildings are being built, along with a dedicated building for the College of Pharmacy, while the College of Law and College of Education – QU’s oldest college – will also get purpose-built facilities.
A new engineering building is also under construction. Accommodating up to 1,200 students, the facility will feature classrooms, two auditoriums and an outdoor amphitheater. All four buildings are slated to be completed later this year.