Accreditation and Quality Assurance

Ahlia University

As part of Ahlia University’s vision and mission, our aim is to produce top level graduates through high quality teaching. AU has formed a Centre for Accreditation and Quality Assurance (CAQA) to fulfil the mission, vision, and goals of AU towards achieving excellence in the quality of our student learning, teaching and research. In anticipation, the Centre strives to ensure that the education offered by AU meets national and international standards through a policy of continuous improvement.

The CAQA was formed with the responsibility of planning, developing, implementing, and managing quality assurance standards across AU. It is also responsible for assuring the implementation of all the necessary plans and policies to meet the requirements for accreditation of the programmes of AU. CAQA works closely in cooperation with all other existing Centres and Committees of AU, one of which is Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC) and Teaching, Learning and Assessment Committee (TLAC).

The CAQA has established an Internal Quality Management System that insures quality assurance standards are being applied across the University in all the academic and administrative operations. The Internal Quality Management System has enabled AU to fulfil its vision and mission and is measured by the satisfaction rate of the identified stakeholder’s such as alumni, students and employers of AU Graduates as well the number of students employed in the national market.

With the high level of support given to the quality assurance operations at AU, the CAQA team works to ensure the programmes are up-to-date and are of the highest academic standards. The implementation of policies and procedures includes feedback obtained from stakeholders such as external advisory board members alongside conducting market need analysis.

Programme Quality Reviews & Validation

Ahlia University has performed commendably vis-à-vis review outcomes within the context of Academic Programme Reviews conducted by the independent Bahrain Education & Training Quality Authority. To date, the University has undergone reviews a number of academic programmes on offer.

In our pursuit of high-quality academic provision. through alignment to international standards, and compliance with the National Qualifications Framework, Ahlia University has successfully achieved institutional listing as one of the first HEIs in Bahrain.

Achieving institutional listing has enabled the university to submit its programmes for validation through a process of external scrutiny by an NQF validation panel, and a validation (site visit) event, under the oversight of the General Directorate of National Qualifications Framework (GDQ).

In doing so, Ahlia University is proud to have the highest number of NQF validated programmes among private HEIs in Bahrain, with 11 National Qualifications/ programmes successfully placed on the national qualifications register and 3 cross boarder qualifications aligned to Bahrain qualification register which include 2 at level 10/PhD Level.

For an overview of all successfully validated / aligned AU programmes, with the publishing year, and NQF placement reference. All placement results are published on the website of the Bahrain Education & Training Quality Authority.

Initial Placement

AU was placed as part of Institutional Listing in 2015; General Qualification Directorate (GDQ) has published the listing report dated 8th July, 2015.

Higher Education Council Accreditation

The Higher Education Council (HEC) in Bahrain has implemented a mandatory system of accreditation for the higher education sector. The accreditation is aligned with international standards and is granted on an institution-wide basis for a period of 4 years. The accreditation aims to support confidence by stakeholders in the quality of provision of the institution, and its capacity to maintain and enhance quality, among other things.

Ahlia University achieved institutional accreditation in 2019. The accreditation serves as a quality mark that is expected to enable the institution to expand its international student recruitment activities to new markets.

Education & Training Quality Authority Certification

As one of the Education & Training Quality Authority’s (BQA) core functions, HEIs in Bahrain are subject to institutional reviews where the whole institution is periodically assessed to enhance the quality of higher education, ensure accountability to the public, and identify/ disseminate information on good practice.

In 2010, Ahlia University underwent the (first cycle) Institutional Review whereby:

  • The university obtained outstanding results with 9 commendations: The highest for any private HEI in Bahrain.
  • The university received a judgement of “good progress” on its follow-up evaluation which was the highest and only such judgement of all (14) HEIs in Bahrain at the time.
  • The university was placed in the “first category” universities as part of a three-tier classification announced in the Bahrain Education & Training Quality Authority (BQA) Annual Report 2014 pg. 106.

In 2019, Ahlia University underwent the second cycle Institutional Review, whereby the university was subject to a more mature set of indicators and standards. The university obtained the highest-level judgement – “Meets Quality Assurance Requirements” – ensuring the quality mark and certification for a period of five years.

International Ranking & Reputation​

In line with the University’s strategic plan, and as articulated by objective 4 “Sustain and institutionalise quality management, accreditation and ranking standards across all operations” Ahlia University has managed to achieve and sustain number of institutional milestones which have manifested in its international standing in league tables and powerful brand.

Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings

Ahlia University featured the inaugural THE Impact Ranking (2019) which is the first global ranking designed to asses HEIs against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ahlia University’s maintain THE Impact Ranking. In 2021, Ahlia University was ranked the first university in Bahrain by Times Higher Education Impact Ranking with an overall rank of 101-200 and sustained its result in 2022 as well as 2023. AU was ranked 15th  worldwide for SDG4 related to Quality Education and 7th related to SDG10 Reduced Inequalities during the year 2023.


Qs World University Ranking

In 2018, Ahlia University ranked among the top 50 universities in the Arab World, among more than 1,000 universities. In fact, AU ranked 1st among the fastest rising universities in the Arab World. In 2024, Ahlia University continued to hold a top 50 position (rank #34), thus maintaining an advanced standing among the best universities locally and within the wider region.  As part of sustaining AU’s achievements in quality standards and research, during 2023 AU was classified among QS world university ranking and ranked among 651+.

QS Stars Rating

In 2019, Ahlia University received its stars rating, in accordance with the QS Stars Rating System, making it the first university in Bahrain to achieve such an international recognition.

The University achieved 5 stars (the highest rating) in the areas of Teaching, Facilities, and Social Responsibility.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs)

United Nations developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals to protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030, Higher Education Institutions plays a vital role in promoting and achieving these Goals. In line with Ahlia University (AU) initiative to contribute towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), AU considers Social Responsibility and Sustainability as part of its prioritized strategies that is embedded in its core functions including teaching, research and community. The University is committed to contribute and work towards UNSDGs through encouragement of research in various research areas such as quality education, equal opportunities and sustainable growth. In order to create a recognized impact AU promotes partnership with national and international organizations tackling UNSDGs.

AU has listed its commitment towards UNSGDs in UN Partnership Platform as leading Private Higher Education in Bahrain. Ahlia University Sustainability Initiative – United Nations Partnerships for SDGs platform


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