A smart new campus will soon open its doors to students at the University College of Bahrain (UCB). The new site, which is more than 10 times the size of the current campus, features state-of-the-art facilities for sports, academia and extracurricular pursuits. It will also provide luxury accommodation, a shopping centre, restaurants and coffee shops. Staff and students are eagerly anticipating the move, which will mark a new era for the university, creating a tailored environment in which to blend learning with leisure.

This balance is key to the educational ethos at UCB, where staff strive to support students in developing their talents while providing a nurturing environment that helps them evolve into well-rounded individuals. A dedicated Student Affairs Department focuses on creating the best student experience possible through a series of programmes, policies and initiatives that cater to diverse interests and pursuits. “The range of ongoing support services is designed to ensure that the experience of students is a positive and successful one,” says Dr Khalid M Al-Khalifa, UCB’s Founder and Chairman.


Developing abilities

Activities are selected for their capacity to develop leadership qualities, encourage interpersonal relationships and support sporting and artistic abilities. “The department focuses on giving students a platform to showcase their talent in various spheres and also helps them build the spirit of working in teams,” says Dr Al-Khalifa. “Ultimately, it ensures that the students are constantly active and each day is etched into their memories.”

As one of the first private universities to launch in the Gulf state, UCB takes its role as a pioneering institution of higher education seriously. The faculty is constantly on the lookout for innovations in teaching methodologies and techniques to incorporate into its courses. Professors use smart classrooms, hi-tech labs and state-of-the-art equipment for their lectures, while one-to-one guidance is available through individual mentors assigned to support each student throughout their time at the university.

A particular focus is placed on subjects with high market demand that will add value to Bahrain’s emerging industries. One sought-after example is the Islamic Finance programme, which is not widely available elsewhere. “With the Islamic banking sector witnessing a rise,” says Dr Al-Khalifa, “the Islamic Finance graduates are doing their bit by implementing the knowledge they’ve gained.”


Managing education

A range of courses is available at the undergraduate level in the broader areas of Business Administration, Information Technology, and Communication and Media. Postgraduate programmes are also offered, with the majority of courses concentrated in the areas of management and Islamic Finance. Dr Al-Khalifa describes the master’s courses as “intensive, integrative and international.” He emphasises the multicultural atmosphere at the university as a key feature in creating an environment that actively encourages growth and development. This internationalism extends to the curriculum, which is adapted from the Canadian system to suit local requirements.

Students typically go on to pursue successful careers, with many taking up positions in banks, multinationals and government ministries. Others have become entrepreneurs and founded successful businesses in countries around the world. “Our alumni are a source of great pride,” says Dr Al-Khalifa. “UCB has always focussed on shaping students to become good human beings with strong humanitarian values. This not only makes them good employees or leaders, but also makes UCB, their families and the nation as a whole proud of them.”