All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2012: Responding to Change: Effective Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

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Vision 2030 – The role of higher education and student centered learning in the changing Arab world.
Cathy O'Kelly

Last modified: 2012-09-27


The Middle East is currently experiencing unprecedented change.  The aspiration to transform nations from dependence on oil, to self sufficient economies, brings with it many challenges.  In order to prepare for the needs of future generations, the role of third level education in the Arab world is rapidly changing.  Investment in and commitment to student centered approaches to learning, teaching and research are the keys to unlock the potential of the Arab nations. 


In the Kingdom of Bahrain, a location of strategic significance in the Middle East, the need for the development of education policies, in line with national objectives, has been recognised.  The aim of the leaders of Bahrain to transform the nation, as part of the published ‘2030 vision’ has required investment in a new form of education.  Bahrain Polytechnic has at the core of its strategy, the fostering of student centered approaches to education, to help change a nation.  The experience of students in this third level university is unprecedented in this small kingdom.  The programme design, methods of delivery, student and staff selection procedures and assessment methods, are all carefully linked to the goal of producing work ready graduates for the emerging economy.  The research to date indicates a positive student experience with measurable results. 


This presentation will focus on the research that has been conducted on student centered learning in higher education in Bahrain and an analysis of the results to date.