Bahrain has a long history of offering a wide range of educational opportunities, starting with the opening of the Kingdom’s first boys’ school in Muharraq in 1919. Now, more than 100 years later, the number of citizens and residents under 20s in Bahrain is predicted to increase by 30,000 by 2025 – with the Kingdom’s higher education sector set to experiencing a subsequent investment boom.
Although Bahrain already offers several excellent home-grown higher educational options – including the University of Bahrain and Applied Science University – their offerings are increasingly being supplemented by local branches of prestigious educational institutions from around the world.
Not only does this offer both expat citizens and residents the opportunity to leverage global expertise from well-known universities in their studies, but it also helps the Kingdom to form greater international connections.
Among these global universities, an emphasis has been placed on STEM-related fields and subjects that prepare young people for the jobs of the future – such as coding, engineering, blockchain and cloud computing. And two of the most prominent UK institutions offering these programmes to students in Bahrain are the University of Strathclyde and the University of Salford.
University of Strathclyde
Bahrain is one of eight international centres of the University of Strathclyde, which launched its MBA programme in the Kingdom in 1995. With an emphasis on flexibility, and an option to spend up to six years completing the materials, the course is designed for busy students who are juggling a professional career or perhaps even a family. Students attend intensive seminars delivered by academics scheduled over weekends, with two opportunities to apply in April and October.
In collaboration with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), the University of Strathclyde has also announced a FinTech master’s course in Bahrain – believed to be the first of its kind in the region. The programme acts as a platform for interaction between British and Bahrain-based firms, while equipping graduates with the skills required to address the technological changes happening in the region. Modules include data analytics and blockchain – which are both fast becoming critical requirements for the jobs of the future.
British University of Bahrain
Since opening in September 2018, the British University of Bahrain (BUB) offers courses from the UK’s University of Salford that are fully recognised by the Higher Education Council of Bahrain. BUB has three colleges – the College of Engineering and the Built Environment; the College of Information and Communications Technology; and the College of Business. All these schools offer a catalogue of undergraduate programmes strategically chosen to meet the industry and market needs of Bahrain.
BUB plays an important role in addressing the challenges of the 21st century, and directly incorporates work-based skills and experience into its curriculum. Students can also study the same curriculum and programmes as those that are offered at the university’s Manchester campus – meaning access to British education without the costs of moving abroad.
The presence of universities from around the world in Bahrain is essential to the development and growth of the Kingdom’s young population. In an increasingly interconnected world, the availability of opportunities to gain global insight without travelling is essential to the future generation. And ultimately, the presence of these universities will contribute to Bahrain’s bright future in the FinTech and STEM fields.