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BAC to deliver accreditation scheme in Bahrain

The British Accreditation Council is working with the Higher Education Council in Bahrain to deliver the country’s first national institutional accreditation scheme for higher education.

The University of Bahrain. Photo: Rick's Images

It is expected that all of the country's universities will be seeking the accreditation

The BAC will develop the documentation for university accreditation with the HEC and will provide the staff to inspect the universities, it was announced this week.

“There’s a real determination on behalf of the Bahrain government to raise standards”

The BAC has been working in Bahrain for the last two years to develop the framework for this higher education accreditation.

“The accreditation of courses is one thing,” Paul Fear, CEO of BAC, told The PIE News. “How effective the institution is that delivers those courses is something else altogether different, which is where we really come in, in terms of the institutional accreditation.”

Governance, transparency, the information given to students and mechanisms in place to encourage academic research, are some of the factors that will be looked at when the universities are inspected.

However, Fear said that the final decision and outcomes as to whether an institution will be accredited lies with the Higher Education Council.

It is expected that all of the country’s universities will be seeking the accreditation.

In 2013/14, there were 38,113 students were enrolled in higher education in Bahrain, of which 5,039 were international students.

The majority of these (87%) were from Asia, with the highest number of students coming from Saudi Arabia – 1,487.

Fear said that the Bahrain government is very much looking to improve the standards of higher education in Bahrain, and would like to see the country move towards becoming a higher education hub.

“There’s a real determination on behalf of the Bahrain government to raise standards, and alternatively that’s going to reflect on higher student numbers for the universities,” he said.

The contract between the two councils will start at the beginning of next month.

The BAC accredits over 260 higher and further education institutions in 12 countries.

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