Bahrain’s education ministry on Thursday asked three private universities not to enroll students in summer programmes until they regularized their situation.
The ministry said that the universities had failed to meet the required standards and could not take in new students in certain sections that include public relations, business, finance and information technology.
The action against the universities is part of a crackdown launched by the ministry on universities and colleges that are allegedly seeking to profit from a highly lucrative business without complying with rigourous conditions set to ensure an “appropriate” level for graduates.
Several private universities in Bahrain took advantage of the readiness of Bahrainis and Gulf nationals to study in the region rather than go abroad, mainly to the US, especially after the September 2001 terrorist attacks and the ensuing bias against Arabs and Muslims.
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As competition between colleges intensified, some of them resorted to special measures to ensure the enrollment of students, mainly professionals from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. They included limiting attendance to the weekend and the possibility to take courses with almost no regard for prerequisites.
Alerted by a decision by Kuwait’s education ministry not to recognise university degrees, Bahrain moved in to check all private universities more closely and take action against violators.