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Undergraduate study in Bahrain is based on a system of lecture-hour credits, much like that in the United States.

Country Overview

Bahrain has been ruled by the al-Khalifa family since 1783. The family entered into treaties with Britain that rendered it a protectorate from 1861 to 1971, when it became independent. Bahrain – which means “two seas” – was one of the first Persian Gulf states to discover oil and to refine it. Its oil reserves have dwindled, though, and it has been forced to diversify its economy, notably into international banking. It is also known for its pearls. Although it is the smallest and poorest state in the gulf area, the country (actually an archipelago of about 30 islands) claims to be the most democratic. Officially it is a constitutional monarchy in which the king and ruling family hold the most powerful posts, but voters elect a 40-member parliament. It is a favorite destination for tourists from the region who find respite in its relaxed social atmosphere and relatively greater freedoms.

Climate

The most pleasant time of year in Bahrain is during spring or autumn when sunshine is virtually guaranteed, along with warm temperatures tempered by soft breezes. Summers can be very hot and humid, though the humidity is modified at the end of the season when a dry northwesterly wind blows, known locally as the 'Al Barah'. Winter is cooler and influenced by low-pressure systems, which bring rainfall. Average rainfall is low, but most of it falls in winter.

Annual rainfall
Average annual precipitation is only 76 mm (3 inches)

GDP

$26,820,000,000

Population

727,785

Overview of Higher Education

Undergraduate study is based on a system of lecture-hour credits, much like that in the United States. Similarly, an associate’s degree generally requires two years of study, and a bachelor’s degree requires four years. Postgraduate degrees, however, are based on the British master’s degree; a master’s and postgraduate diploma usually require two to four years of additional study ,divided between lectures and research, after a bachelor's degree. A doctorate requires three to five years of additional  full-time study and research after a master's degree.

Among institutions of note, the University of Bahrain was founded in 1986 by a decree merging Gulf Polytechnic with the University College of Arts, Science and Education. The Arabian Gulf University was founded in 1980 as a joint venture among six (now seven) Arab governments and the Gulf College of Hospitality and Tourism.

Some 30,000 students were enrolled in institutions of higher learning in 2007.

(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 20

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (private/non-state): 17

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 18,000

Contact Information

Ministry of Education

Information System Directorate - Ministry of Education

P.O. Box 43, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Web site: www.moe.gov.bh/

Phone: 17683218

Email: us.h.edu.council@moe.gov.bh

Contact: Dr. Alawi Hashim Al Hashimi, Secretary General, Higher Education Council