During our February 16 webinar "Cross-Border Business Development; Palm Beach & Bahrain" we were honored to have so many diplomats and professionals speak about the evolving relationship between the business and educational communities of Palm Beach and Bahrain, including Mubarak Buti, PhD, Cultural and Educational Counselor / Cultural Office
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Thank you, Mr. Al, for the introduction. Good morning everyone, and good evening for those who are in Bahrain, it's my pleasure, of course, to be among you virtually today, and thank you for having me.
I would like to start my remarks as an educator always by giving some background about the Kingdom of Bahrain when it comes to education. So Bahrain introduced government sponsored education in 1919 the first nation, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to do so.
Today, Bahrain is proud of its public schools where students enjoy a free education from K to twelve. There are as well a number of top rate fee based private schools offering to tutorial in American, British, French, Indian, you name it. Over the last ten years, Bahrain enjoyed the highest literacy rate among the Arab countries and this is actually according to the United Nations Human Development Report. Higher education of course has blossomed as the Bahraini economy increasingly demands specialized skills. High school graduates from Bahrain are flocking to the west to pursue higher education. Accordingly, the demand for lending institutions and programs in Bahrain is growing. As Bahrain investment grows, so too will opportunity for international investors establish world class academic and training facilities in the Kingdom.
So the future will demand to educate a new generation of globally aware Gulf citizens. So currently Bahrain has two public universities or institutions of higher learning, University of Bahrain and the Arabian Endeavor Universities. There are also several language centers including the Political School, the British Council, and so on. The Dipole University is a good example. The Dipole University and the George Washington University offer correspondence programs to Bahrain is of course, vocational training facilities include the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance, Bahrain Training Institute, BTI, Bahrain Institute Technology, and Gulf College for Hospitality and Tourism. So this is like another area of investment in case of anyone that's interested.
So I will not actually go into the whole points which I have prepared behind the schedule. But why invest in Bahrain? We were basically driven by growth. So to invest in Bahrain because the number of citizens under 20 years old is expected to increase annually by 1.7%, which is literally around like 30,000 over the next five years, creating progress of course in nurseries. And this is something that the Ministry of Education is focusing on – Bahrain has now almost 153 private kindergarten and the students number having increased to 52% higher education over one year.
In 2021, Enrollment and Buffering Higher education Institute increased by two, 2.8% and K to twelve. It's the fastest growing sub sector. The students number have increased actually by 47% since 2017, which is an average of 7.2% per year. So to conclude my remarks investing education is growing really quickly in Bahrain making it a valuable opportunity for international education companies looking to tap into not just Bahrain but in the GCC market.
Thank you once again for listening and I look forward to any questions.
— Mubarak Buti, PhD
Cultural and Educational Counselor / Cultural Office
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain