Our Message to Our Students
The Arab Open University - Bahrain Branch Quality Assurance Unit welcomes our students where our goal is to ensure that they have the best academic as well as administrative experience during their stay with us from admission until graduation, and even beyond through our Alumni Club.
AOU-Bahrain is a unique institution because it offers the flexibility of the “open learning” environment coupled with the rigor of a curriculum and assessment system that is benchmarked to the Quality Code of the Quality Assurance Agency – United Kingdom. AOU-Bahrain is chosen by our students not only because of our affordable fees and flexible timings but also because we offer a degree of international repute. The AOU is an accredited partner institution of the Open University - United Kingdom (http://www.open.ac.uk/). As such our students receive two degrees – one recognized by the United Kingdom and one by the Kingdom of Bahrain.
AOU-Bahrain, guided by the philosophy of open learning, practices an open admissions policy offering people from all walks of life, from any stage in life, an opportunity for formal education. Given that the curriculum is in English, a placement test is required in order to ascertain the English proficiency of our students and to place them in appropriate language strengthening courses. AOU-Bahrain also realizes the challenges faced by our mature student body with regards to balancing work-family-study commitments and houses a Student Care Center to serve the needs of our busy students.
Students have access to all levels of administration from Branch Council at the Bahrain level to the University Council at the Headquarters level in Kuwait all the way up to the United Kingdom if they so choose.
Branch Quality Assurance Coordinator / Head of QAU
Quality Assurance Unit
AOU-Bahrain’s Approach to Quality
AOU-Bahrain’s Quality Assurance system is a reflection of the over-arching QA approach at AOU-Headquarters in Kuwait with special care to abide by and comply with QA requirements in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition to compliance, AOU-Bahrain operates under the motto of “continuous self improvement.” AOU-Bahrain is one of eight branches of the Arab Open University based in Kuwait, the other branches being located in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sudan (just opened). AOU follows the Plan-Implement-Monitor-Evaluate iterative method for continuous quality improvement of processes, which is aligned with the famous PDSA cycle made popular by W. Edwards Deming in the mid 1900s. This method ensures that every process, both admin and academic that make up the working of the university, is planned, monitored and evaluated for continuous improvement.
In simple terms QA can be defined as “doing the right things, right.” More formally in the AOU-Bahrain context, it is the process which “monitors the effective and efficient running of all administrative and academic processes that make up the achievement of the AOU-Bahrain and OU-UK certificates by the AOU-Bahrain student. ”
 Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA)
What is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is the process for checking that the standards and quality of higher education provision meet agreed expectations.
How do we define standards and quality?
Threshold academic standards are the minimum level of achievement that the student has to reach to succeed on their course and achieve the qualification. A key feature of this is that threshold standards should not vary from one higher education provider to another. Academic quality is how well the higher education provider supports its students in their learning: the teaching, the support available, how they are assessed, and the resources available.
What is the Quality Code of the United Kingdom and how is AOU affected by it?
UK’s Quality Code is the nationally agreed, definitive point of reference for all those involved in delivering higher education programmes that lead to an award from, or are validated by, a UK higher education awarding body (a provider entitled to award degrees). All higher education providers reviewed by QAA-UK must commit to meeting the expectations that it sets out. The Quality Code is published by the QAA and all AOU branches are required to adhere to it because AOU is an accredited partner institution of The Open University – United Kingdom. Accreditation allows Arab Open University to submit programmes of higher education for approval as validated awards of The Open University. The AOU Certificate of Accreditation from The Open University is available upon request. Please also visit this link to see AOU on OU-UK’s list of approved universities: http://www.open.ac.uk/about/validate/about-ouvs/ou-approved-institutions.
What are the key values of the Quality Code?
- The Quality Code is based on a number of key values, which are set out below.
- All students are treated fairly, equitably and as individuals.
- Students have the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of their learning experience.
- Students are properly and actively informed at appropriate times of matters relevant to their programmes of study.
- All policies and processes relating to study and programmes are clear and transparent.
- Strategic oversight of academic standards and academic quality is at the highest level of academic governance of the provider.
- All policies and processes are regularly and effectively monitored, reviewed and improved.
- Sufficient and appropriate external involvement exists for the maintenance of academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities.
- Staff are supported, enabling them in turn to support students' learning experiences.
How is AOU-Bahrain’s quality monitored and reviewed?
AOU-Bahrain is subject to both external and internal reviews. The quality and accreditation of AOU-Bahrain’s awards are subject to five year institutional and program external reviews by the Directorate of Higher Education Reviews (DHR) of Bahrain’s National Authority for Qualifications & Quality Assurance of Education & Training (NAQQAET - www.qqa.edu.bh) as well as The Center for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships (CICP - http://www.open.ac.uk/about/inclusion-and-curriculum/) of The Open University – UK.
AOU-Bahrain has been awarded “Full Confidence” in all of its programs by the DHR after a rigorous self evaluation process coupled with comprehensive DHR documentation review as well as triangulation by intense interviews with staff, students, alumni and employers. AOU-Bahrain has also received CICP re-validation through an equally rigorous process by UK.
Additionally, AOU-Bahrain undergoes annual monitoring through the submission of its Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) to Headquarters which is submitted to the CICP. Furthermore quarterly internal reviews are conducted by the Performance Monitoring Unit of the Office of Prince Talal, Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, AOU-Bahrain is also involved in self initiated continuous improvement through follow-up to ensure that all processes are functioning within the parameters of effectiveness and efficiency under the motto of giving our students the best experience possible.