Continue reading our Q&A to see all the amazing work AUBH has been doing!
- What are the measurements the American University of Bahrain (AUBH) took to ensure the continuity of learning for its students during COVID-19?
As a start-up institution, this is not what we envisioned in our opening year! However, I’m pleased that we have demonstrated the ability and desire to adapt and rally in these unusual times. We are proud to be in Bahrain— with everyone’s safety in mind, the Kingdom has led by example by taking the right measures in a very timely manner.
My team and I were laser-focused on finding viable solutions to the issues that faced us, both short- and long-term. Since university campuses closed in the Kingdom, we have moved to distance learning seamlessly, without missing a day of class. I’m happy that all of us – from staff and students to support teams – have demonstrated the ability and desire to adapt and try new teaching and learning methodologies in these unprecedented times. The American-style and flexibility of our programs make them naturally able to be adapted, and I have personally seen the benefit of the years of experience of our international faculty who have done a fantastic job with remote delivery of classes.
We have also prioritized staying in touch with our students and guiding them through this transition period. AUBH faculty have been providing one-on-one mentoring, supporting students in every sense, and ingraining a spirit of peer mentorship so that they also support each other.
- Could you elaborate as to what are the exact technologies utilized by AUBH during this time?
The key for us was having technologically-advanced tools already in place before the pandemic. This allowed for a quick transition to an online modality. Microsoft Teams has been a great facilitator for us, allowing us to host classes and mass virtual assemblies, uniting staff and students. We were also able to provide our students with exams as normal, using ProctorU, a highly advanced proctoring platform from the U.S. that protects the credibility of high stakes exams online. We are the first to use this technology in Bahrain and it has been invaluable to us for exam security.
- In a few words, what would you consider to be AUBH’s motto during this time?
Our motto For A Lifetime of Success still stands – all our focus right now is on making sure our students’ educational journey does not suffer, and they become work-ready AUBH graduates. I’m sure that this experience is making us all stronger by forcing us to accept change, think of creative solutions, challenge decisions and work collaboratively.
- Any announcements/additional information AUBH would like to share?
We can’t wait to welcome AUBH Students back on campus! We’d like to assure everyone that safety of staff and students is our first priority. We have been sanitizing the campus regularly. We are also currently working on plans for socially-distanced classrooms and activities as we adjust to the new COVID-19 reality. We are planning to employ our innovative technology solutions to host hybrid classroom settings, offering students the choice to join class in-person and/or online, whatever works best for them individually.
We are creatively thinking of ways our American-style, flexible learning format can assist students affected by COVID-19 on either a temporary or permanent basis. To assist students who have returned to Bahrain from abroad, and do not wish to return to international study, we have created a friendly credit transfer system. This means they can study with AUBH and potentially transfer the credits they have earned back to other institutions abroad. For us, it is all about helping the student at this time, as we understand that they may be anxious about their education. We are currently evaluating applications for both new and transfer students. We have also put measures in place to assist students who may be missing some required documents, so that their learning is not affected.
I would like to finish with a word about well-being. As part of our holistic approach, we promote an ethos of “Sound Mind, Sound Body”, so we have been encouraging everyone to stay physically healthy and active. We have given all our students an account on the Headspace App for meditation and mindfulness, and our fantastic trainer Joey has been on-hand to give fitness tips and advice remotely. As we head towards delivering classes in-person again, we will continue this focus on ensuring the mental and physical well-being of our staff and students – together as an AUBH community.