Qatar University is planning to spend QR3bn ($823m) over the next few years on a major expansion that will include new student housing and new colleges, said Abdulla Yaqoub al-Sayed, chief operations officer of the university’s buildings operations department, speaking at the MEED Qatar Projects 2014 conference in Doha on 19 March.

The university is gearing up for a major increase in its student population, which is expected to jump from 4,500 at present to 20,000 by 2019.

New housing consisting of about 20 buildings is currently being built to better accommodate students and is expected to be completed by September of this year.

The university recently launched construction of a new College of Engineering, and it plans to award a construction contract for a new College of Pharmacy in the next few weeks, Al-Sayed said.

In total, the university will expand to 1.1 billion square metres by 2019, up from 110,000 square metres at its launch in 2006.

The university was intended to host a football stadium to be used during the 2022 Fifa World Cup in 2022, but those plans are still being finalised and the facility that will ultimately be built may end up serving as a football training facility, he added.