Universities in Kuwait


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About universities in Kuwait

Kuwait, or officially, the State of Kuwait, is a sovereign Arab country located on the northeast portion of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia.  The country consists of 6,880 square miles of total geographic area, on which 3.5 million people live, making the country the 157th largest country in the world by area and the 131st largest nation by population.  The capital and largest city in Kuwait is Kuwait City and the lone official language of the country is Arabic.
 
Although Kuwait’s large oil fields were discovered in the late 1930s, it wasn’t until after gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 that the state’s oil industry saw unprecedented growth.  It was at that time that higher education became a major focus and priority of the Kuwaiti government—education that was geared towards preparing students for advanced positions within the oil industry—the country’s main economic sector.
 
The potential for wealth in Kuwait did not go unnoticed by neighboring Iraq, which invaded the country in 1990 in an attempt to annex the region for its own gain.  Iraq would occupy Kuwait for seven months, but that occupation came to an end with the help of United States-led forces who carried out a military intervention that essentially drove the Iraqis out.  Nearly 800 oil wells were set ablaze as the Iraqis retreated from the country, resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe, one that for many years would negatively impact every facet of Kuwaiti society, including higher education, as many university buildings were damaged or destroyed during the occupation and the resultant fires.
 
Higher education in Kuwait
 
Higher education in Kuwait is overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Higher Education, which sets curriculum and policy for public institutions of higher learning.  Higher education covers both university and post-secondary education and training. 
 
Post-Secondary Education and Training in Kuwait
 
Technical training at the post-secondary level, which falls under the supervision of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), takes place at institutions and training centers.  Institutions offer programs that are more professional in nature, such as those in Business Management, Accounting and Finance, while the training centers are more vocational in what they offer, providing two-year technician programs for secondary school certificate holders.
 
University Education
 
University education in Kuwait is provided by four state-supported higher education institutions and several private universities, which must also be accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education.  The credit and degree structure at almost all Kuwaiti universities is very similar.  Bachelor degree programs, at least in most academic and professional fields, typically span eight regular semesters or four years.  Some programs require additional time, including Engineering, spanning nine to ten regular semesters, and Medicine, a three-level program of seven years. At the post graduate level, the duration of programs leading to the award of a higher diploma is two to three semesters.  Master’s Degree programs are also offered in the fields of science, engineering, philosophy and medicine, each spanning one to two full years after the Bachelor degree program.  The duration of all doctorate-level programs in Kuwait is a minimum of three years.
 
Kuwait has an adult literacy rate of 94 percent, which is the highest literacy rate among Arab countries.

List of universities in Kuwait

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Contact: American University of Kuwait

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