Gulf’s first polytechnic opens in Bahrain

September 22nd, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 22 (IANS) The Gulf’s first polytechnic, Bahrain Polytechnic, has opened its doors to 240 students.The new institute will complement the role of higher education colleges and universities providing an applied and industry-focussed vocational education and giving students professional skills aligned with market needs, a statement issued by the polytechnic said.

“The Bahrain Polytechnic addresses the pressing skills gap currently in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council),” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB), said in the statement.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) form the GCC.

“Graduates of the facility will be equipped to provide a range of technical skills to support our diverse economy such as Bahrain’s booming manufacturing sector. We are proud to host the only polytechnic in the GCC which shows Bahrain’s continued commitment to, and leadership in, education and training,” Al-Khalifa added.

The 240 students were selected from 1,200 applicants for the various courses on offer at the polytechnic in Bahrain University’s Isa Town campus.

Programmes that are being offered include business studies, accounting, finance, marketing, advertising, management and economics, international business, information technology, civil and mechanical engineering, and health sciences.

The courses are being offered as either a two-year diploma programme providing vocational skills directly applicable to the job market or a four-year bachelor’s programme providing more advanced professional skills.

Graduating students will be able to enter the workforce immediately on passing out, according to the statement.

“Now, with the opening of the only polytechnic in the region, universities can focus on providing academic programs whilst the polytechnic can focus on providing first class professional and applied education,” Al-Khalifa said.

Owned and funded by the government, the Bahrain Polytechnic is part of the National Reform Initiative of the EDB.

Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to provide publicly funded education for both boys and girls.

Education is compulsory and free for the country’s entire population and Bahrain’s literacy rate stands at 85 percent.

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