The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) has announced that it has received U.S. accreditation through the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), one of the seven best known accrediting agencies in the USA. This makes AUBH among only a handful of other universities accredited by this world-renowned commission in the GCC and MENA region.
The Commission awarded AUBH accreditation for upholding the highest international academic standards for educational quality and effectiveness. Accreditation is a voluntary process and is unique to the United States, where higher education is not directly regulated by the government. Accreditation supports universities in improving existing processes and helps affirm a “culture of evidence” at AUBH.
In 2019, Elm Education, a Bahrain-based education investment fund established by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), launched AUBH as the Kingdom’s first comprehensive, purpose-built, co-educational university based on the American model.
AUBH is licensed by the Higher Education Council of the Ministry of Education in Bahrain, the national regulator for the Kingdom’s Higher Education Institutions, and is a CIQG Member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the U.S. AUBH has also recently achieved official recognition by the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Bradley Cook, AUBH President commented: “With quality assurance as a strategic priority, we are very proud to be accredited by WSCUC. This accreditation will facilitate and promote scientific, cultural, and student exchanges as well as attract international students to study in Bahrain. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share the same accreditor as some of the best universities in the U.S.”
Dr. Cook stressed that this accreditation would strengthen the bonds of cooperation with international universities and provide direct benefit to students in credit and degree transfers to American institutions of higher education. This is within the framework of the University’s aim to open up to international universities, thus contributing to the development of the whole educational process and ultimately the Kingdom.
Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO, Mumtalakat, stated: “Education is one of our priority sectors at Mumtalakat; therefore, we established Elm Education Fund to develop the education sector in Bahrain and the region. Elm’s first investment was in AUBH, and we are pleased to celebrate this new milestone that aligns with our goals of investing in Bahrain for Bahrain.”
The announcement was made during a Ghabga event hosted on the university campus in the presence of H.E. Dr. Shaikha Rana bint Isa bin Duaij Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the Higher Education Council (HEC) and Vice Chairperson of its Board of Trustees; David Brownstein, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy; members of AUBH’s Board of Governors, Dr. Bradley J. Cook, AUBH President; Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, AUBH Provost; Mr. William D. Hurt, AUBH Chief Operating Officer; and a number of government officials, educational leaders, faculty and staff.
This U.S. regional accreditation, recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), holds the highest level of quality assurance at the institutional level for higher education. The accreditation process usually takes five years and is guided by 16 rigorous eligibility criteria. Those include a “Seeking Accreditation Visit” (SAV), during which an evaluation team flew to Bahrain and visited the university to determine whether it has met the expected academic standards and inspect the state-of-the-art campus, which was built with U.S. accreditation in mind by U.S. architect, Ayers Saint Gross.