Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Robert Donmoyer, PhD, Chair; Cheryl A. Getz, EdD, Member; Cynthia Howman Wood, EdD, Member


branch campuses, case study, Cross-case analysis, culture, Doha (Qatar), families & family life, higher education, Leadership studies, qualitative, religious beliefs, students, traditions, Western universities


The development of branch campuses in higher education is not a new phenomenon. Over the past decades, however, branch campuses have expanded throughout the world as Western universities have begun to deliver their programs and course offerings in countries that expect the West to provide educational (and, by implication, economic) success. Middle Eastern countries in particular have rapidly expanded the number of Western-style branch campuses for native students in their countries. This qualitative research study focused on one specific Middle Eastern country, Qatar, and explored how native students respond to attending a Western university that has been transplanted from the West into their country. This case study/cross case research investigated what is leading native students in Qatar to attend one of the branch campuses of American universities that have been established in their country. The study also explored the impact of this decision on the students' social lives and religious beliefs, as well as what motivates them to remain in school. At a more general level, the study explored how students have integrated Western values encountered while attending the universities with their own family traditions and religious beliefs. Individual student interviews, a focus group, and administrator interviews were the primary methods of data collection, and a cross case analysis was conducted to discover patterns that cut across the individual cases. This study offers insight into motivating factors that led students to choose study at one of the Western universities in Doha, Qatar. Participants described how family influenced their decisions about where to study, and expressed concern about outside influences potentially affecting their culture and beliefs. The study also examined how students describe their educational experience, and the resulting themes focused on factors of influence that contributed to student success, including the effects of a mixed-gender environment, changes in societal and familial beliefs, and participation in extra-curricular activities. Students also considered adjustments related to their educational experience, especially with how they cope with personal cultural changes within an academic setting. Along with changes in perception about their university experience, students considered adjustments to study habits and time management in order to be successful within their chosen academic program.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies