Bahrain universities in admission row
Manama, June 10, 2014
Two private universities in Bahrain are under investigation for allegedly enrolling students without authenticating their qualifications.
In clear violation of the rules, Al Ahlia University (AAU) and University College of Bahrain (UCB) have both admitted students who were not registered with the Higher Education Council's (HEC) general secretariat, the Education Ministry said in a statement.
A ministry spokesman told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication, that students had to register with the HEC, as regulatory body, in order to receive an identification number that shows their qualifications are present and correct.
"These universities have enrolled students who have not authenticated their 12th grade and bachelor degrees for the next higher classes, the Bachelor and Master's programmes," he said.
"Auditing revealed that AAU had undergraduates who have not submitted their secondary certificates, while the UCB has similar cases at the post-graduate level.
"This means that the universities ignored an important rule - that they have to check the registration number at the HEC.
"Moreover, they also allowed students to continue despite them not submitting the pre-qualification details and both of these are major violations."
The spokesman said that punishment for such violations could vary from a fine to the cancellation of the university's licence.
"The universities will be warned about these violations and a time frame will be provided for them to respond, based on which further action in the case will be taken," he said.
Students enrolled without being properly vetted by the HEC could find that their degree is not valid upon graduation, making their study "a sheer waste of precious time," a higher education quality assurance expert, who did not want to be named, told the GDN.
HEC secretary-general Dr Riad Hamza Yusuf held a meeting with the heads of private higher education institutions yesterday, where he stressed the need for universities to follow the council's rules.
He also pointed out that the HEC was constantly supervising implementation of the rules and reiterated that universities must ratify documents with the HEC prior to enrolling students.
In October last year, the GDN reported the Education Ministry's decision to shut down Delmon University for repeatedly violating HEC regulations.
AAU and UCB officials were not available for comment when contacted by the GDN yesterday. - TradeArabia News Service