AUBH is the first comprehensive, purpose-built, American-style co-educational university in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and is supported through the Elm Fund. The University offers a holistic journey for students and unique approach to education that fosters interaction and collaboration between students, faculty and the professional community.
The contemporary, 75,000 square meter campus is located in Riffa, Bahrain. The innovative and high-tech campus enhances the teaching and learning experience for both faculty and students. Along with classrooms, library and labs, the campus includes a Sports Center with indoor and outdoors courts and fields, vast Student Commons, and an Auditorium for special events.
AUBH curricula is built by experts and specialists to equip students with the knowledge and soft skills to succeed in a rapidly ever-changing environment. The AUBH quality of American-style education mirrors that of the best universities in the United States. The University’s unique academic structure enables students to find their real passions and allows them to develop their abilities, leading to long successful careers in their chosen industry.
Message from the President
To our AUBH community,
We’ve shared such a wonderful past few months as our AUBH family returned to campus and welcomed the Class of 2024 into a future filled with promise and excitement. To both our new and continuing students, I have every confidence that your journey with AUBH will be dynamic and successful, from your first day on campus through entry into your career, next degree program, travel or whatever you choose to pursue after graduating from AUBH. As you initiate this journey, I want to reiterate the advice I shared at orientation—in order to succeed, you have to “show up” for yourself and for your community.
We trust you will enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling experience during your time at AUBH, though no doubt you will face challenges—the kind that require fortitude and persistence to overcome. How you manage yourself in the face of adversity and how you make opportunities out of obstacles will help you to build character and endurance, and model how you will rise up to interact with other life challenges in the ever-changing world. Just look at how we all managed during the Covid-19 pandemic…our practical and creative responses to unpredictable circumstances were truly remarkable!
Since the academic year started, I have been very impressed with the number of safe and sound activities both on and off campus. A new Student Council was elected with energetic leadership; we celebrated holidays, along with sports activities; we hosted visitors in online classes and on campus; we initiated Discover America Week with the U.S. Embassy, AmCham, Microsoft and Amazon; and we implemented a myriad of agreements and scholarships with prominent and highly regarded companies in the Kingdom. And that’s just the beginning!
2021-2022 will be a milestone year as we introduce our partnership with the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and focus on expanding our academic portfolio that offers access to a wide range of international opportunities aligned with today’s rapidly evolving economies and societies. I can’t wait for you all to see what else we have in store for you….
Recently, a group of friends asked me about what I am most proud of having achieved during the last months of the Covid-19 era. I responded with a swift and clear answer: we stayed together as an AUBH community. Our staff and faculty were aligned in mission, purpose, priority, and communication, and our inaugural Class of 2023 students remained an integral part of the family, with many joining summer classes and sharing great enthusiasm about returning to our beautiful campus for the fall. And, despite campus closings and the difficulty visiting with new students and parents on our AUBH campus home, we were proud to welcome an even larger new cohort of students this past September, the Class of 2024. When I was growing up, there was a saying about overcoming struggles: “where there’s a will, there’s a way” though by now you all know that I equate that “will” with #showingup. So, from my heart, thank you AUBH family for showing up!
I’m so proud of all of you who have made our AUBH community what it is today—a culture of care that exemplifies respect, support, enthusiasm, dedication, inspiration, courage and passion. We have truly been our best for each other during this unprecedented time and we should take a moment to celebrate this achievement.
With great pride and admiration for those who are #showingup and dreaming about a lifetime of success,
Dr. Susan E. Saxton
Founding President, AUBH
Our leadership team continuously strives to empower a spirit of individuality and entrepreneurship in both the faculty and in turn our students, so that each develops their own passions within their career or studies. Combining a mix of the best of international and local talent, AUBH’s senior team consists of not only visionary academics, but pioneering business people in their own right. Priding themselves on respecting diversity and embracing multi-culturalism, our leadership team is directed by our Founding President, Dr. Susan E. Saxton, herself a transformational C-suite professional with a 25-year career in education.
A highly-credentialed senior executive with a balance of business and academic experience, able to set direction and facilitate high-level strategic and operational outcomes via commercial acumen; A transformational and authentic leader, with change management experience and outstanding communication skills; A global player in the education industry with 25+ years of recognized thought leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, and business development; A successful trusted advisor and business partner to international leadership teams, foundations, governments and ministries.
With over 25 years of leadership experience as an international executive in both industry and academia, Dr. Susan E. Saxton is the Founding President of the American University of Bahrain (AUBH). Dr. Saxton has held key leadership roles with Laureate Education (the world’s largest private higher education network) including Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Academic Officer, Global Products and Services. She has also served as the Chief Strategy & Development Officer for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) in The Hague.
Dr. Saxton has played an integral role starting and transforming university campuses across the world to higher levels of academic quality and fiscal sustainability. During her distinguished career, Dr. Saxton served as Interim Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice President, Innovation and Emerging Strategies, at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, part of Laureate Education. Prior to working with Laureate Education’s universities around the world, she held the roles of Vice President of Strategy & Product Development and the Dean of Students at Kaplan University, Founding Dean of the College of e-Learning at Lynn University, and Founding Dean of the School of Business & Technology at Capella University.
Dr. Saxton has two Doctors of Philosophy (Ph.D.s), one in Organization and Management, and the other in Human Services/Psychology; a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Business from the University of Liverpool; a Master of Science in Business Administration (Ms.B.A.) in Finance from Boston University; and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mathematics from Wellesley College.
Board of Trustees
AUBH's Board of Trustees is an appointed group of influential and respected individuals with a combined experience of higher and international education, investment, real estate, and banking and finance in the sector, from the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States of America. The Board is ultimately responsible for the governance of AUBH, and seeks to ensure the best interests of our stakeholders in all decisions, ensuring a non-biased and objective approach at all times.
Our management team offers a rare combination of strategic vision and holistic awareness, hailing from high-level positions in educational development, academia and operational management. With diverse backgrounds, they offer international expertise from more than 20 institutions across the United States, plus regional experience in adapting and crafting programs for the Middle East market.
AUBH is proud to be licensed by the Higher Education Council of the Ministry of Education of Bahrain.
On June 3rd, 2021, a WSCUC panel reviewed the appropriate eligibility criteria and determined that the institution is eligible to proceed with an Application for Accreditation. The University is now listed as seeking accreditation.
American University of Bahrain is a private coeducational university based on the American model of higher education. Our mission is to provide the students of Bahrain and the international community opportunities to realize their professional and personal goals through a rigorous and engaging student centric environment that is conducive to learning and fostering creativity in a multicultural setting. American University of Bahrain fosters a community that embraces diversity and is committed to the ideals of intellectual inquiry, ethical behavior and social and civic responsibility. Our aim is to produce career oriented graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge required to advance the economies and societies within which they operate.
Life in Bahrain
Small Nation, Big Lifestyle
Economy and Development
The island of Bahrain is renowned by the welcoming hearts of its population, a rich cultural and historical heritage, its economic diversity and endless opportunities. Lifestyle options are many and varied, and the country is known as one of the most forward-thinking and liberal in the Middle East. It is also known as the natural gateway to the Gulf due to its strategic location, with a particularly favourable access to Saudi Arabia, receiving almost 5 million visitors to its shores each year.
Bahrain, known for the friendliness and kindness of its community has been ranked as the 1st destination in MENA for personal happiness and 7th best destination globally for expats to work, live, and raise a family in 2019 by the InterNations Expat Survey. In the 2019 Expat Explorer survey from HSBC, Bahrain ranked at 5th in the world for Quality of Life and 1st for expatriates being able to reach their potential goals. With a government who actively support the development of youth and education, and who are investing in making the Kingdom an educational hub, it is the perfect location in the region for your University studies.
Bahrainis join the workforce with both an exceptional array of skills and extremely high levels of motivation, achieving the 2019 World Bank’s highest scores in MENA for human capital development. The World Bank has also recognized Bahrain’s initiatives in creating an enabling and innovative ecosystem, which allows businesses to thrive, achieving the distinction of the 4th most improved economy in 2019.
Leisure & Lifestyle
Financially, Bahrain is a great choice students on a budget, as compared to its GCC neighbors. The 2019 InterNations Expat Survey shows Bahrain as 1st in MENA for cost of living and 2nd for personal finance, job security and job satisfaction. Great short-term accommodation can be found near the AUBH Campus at reasonable pricing, and dining is something everyone on the island enjoys on a range of budgets.
Whether you are a thrill-seeker, nature-lover or foodie, you will not be disappointed by the island’s leisure scene, which is encouraged by young locals with an entrepreneurial streak, offering many home-grown brands and outlets. Outdoor spaces have seen a boom in the last few years, with many parks, man-made beaches and walking tracks popping up around the island to encouraging active lifestyles.
1 “Why Bahrain?” Invest in Bahrain, EDB Bahrain, 2020, bahrainedb.com/why-bahrain/
2 Bahrain, BTEA. “Bahrain Tourism Statistics, 1st Half (January to June) 2018 .” Bahrain
Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, 2018, www.btea.bh/btea-statistics.
3EDB, Bahrain. “Exceptional Lifestyle.” Invest in Bahrain, Bahrain EDB, 2020, bahrainedb.com/why-bahrain/lifestyle/.