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Texas A&M University at Qatar welcomed its largest freshman class since 2012 when 110 freshman students started classes Aug. 23, bringing the total enrollment of the branch campus to 545.

Sixty students, or 54.5 percent, in the Class of 2020 are Qatari — constituting the branch campus’ largest intake of freshman Qatari students ever. This brings Texas A&M at Qatar’s total Qatari undergraduate enrollment to 254, or 54.4 percent.

In addition, 45.5 percent of the new class of freshmen is female, bringing the branch campus’ total female undergraduate enrollment to 42.8 percent — more than twice the U.S. national average of women in engineering (19.9 percent) and significantly higher the the female enrollment in engineering at Texas A&M’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA (21.9 percent).

Officials said the count of students may fluctuate slightly during the next few days.

One of the new faces on campus for the first week of classes is Dr. César Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, who took his post 1 July.

“Texas A&M at Qatar is educating the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar,” Malavé said. “I congratulate each and every one of our new students on not only getting into this prestigious university, but also for having the wisdom and courage to take on this challenge of a world-class engineering education. I look forward to experiencing their first semester with them as we all embark on our journeys at Texas A&M at Qatar.”

Malavé credited the record-setting success of this fall’s incoming class to the work of the Office of Admissions and the Office of Development, Engagement and Outreach for their efforts in attracting Qatar’s best and brightest to Texas A&M at Qatar.

Students were welcomed to campus during a weeklong orientation event called Aggie Life 101, hosted by the Department of Student Affairs. The series of workshops and activities gave incoming students a chance to learn about Texas A&M and its unique traditions, as well as what it takes to succeed in a world-renowned engineering institution. During the week, new students also met their fellow classmates, as well as student campus leaders; attended academic advising sessions; and toured the Texas A&M Engineering Building.

In addition, 13 new graduate students started their master’s degrees in chemical engineering this semester. Texas A&M at Qatar has offered Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in chemical engineering since 2011.

Texas A&M commands an international reputation as one of the world’s premier engineering programs, and since 2003, Texas A&M at Qatar has built on that esteem. Students at Texas A&M at Qatar receive the same top-tier training as students enrolled at the main campus in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M at Qatar’s accredited bachelor’s degree programs in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering rank among the top American engineering programs for education and research. The master’s program is an example of Texas A&M at Qatar’s commitment to addressing the needs of the State of Qatar in partnership with Qatar Foundation, and is critical to the success of Texas A&M at Qatar’s ambitious research program.