Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Excerpt of Dr. Khalid's interview published in United World (USA Today)
Universities have an important contribution to make if Bahrain is to maintain its reputation or having a highly qualified labor force, so ensuring high standards in tertiary education is crucial.
Founded 11 years ago, University College of Bahrain was among the first private universities to be established in the kingdom, and is renowned for the quality of its curriculum, teaching staff, and facilities.
Khalid Al Khalifa, its founder and president, believes that ensuring the highest standards in these key areas is fundamental to successful higher education. He says many of the country's private universities were set up without due regard for the quality of education provided.
UCB's curriculum has been carefully structured from the beginning in accordance with the standards to be found in North American universities. The university has worked in close collaboration with the Mc-Master University in Canada and the American University of Beirut. More recently, it has established links with Cambridge University in England and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
UCB's enviable reputation attracts many students from Bahrain's nearest neighbor. "Almost 50% of our students come from Saudi Arabia, and maybe 10% from Arab expatriates in Saudi as well," says Dr. Khalifa.
UCB's teaching staff is made up exclusively of native English speakers, and students applying for places are required to take a strict English language test. The university has its own library on campus and state-of-the art technology.
The quality of education is reflected in the number of UCB graduates admitted to some of the most prestigious U.S. and British universities for further studies, and in the number of job offers even before students finish their studies.
Dr. Khalifa would like to see much more input from U.S. institutions into the Bahraini educational system. "Without U.S. expertise on higher education, we will be going round in circles," he says.
Excerpt of Dr. Khalid's interview published in United World (pdf).......View