Academics from Bahrain Polytechnic shared their approach and experience in rolling out their Employability Framework as supported by their model of Problem- and Project-Based Learning (PPrBL) across their institution with delegates at Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference in Birmingham last week.
Mr. Abdulridha Ali, Manager of the Career and Employment Centre was joined by Dr. Rogelio Levardo Jr, Acting Manager of the Teaching and Learning Unit and a Senior Fellow of the HEA in presenting two posters: first, the Bahrain Polytechnic’s Employability Framework and second, and linked to the first, their approach to PPrBL.
The institution-wide PPrBL approach was launched in 2014 in response to the concerns about work-force development in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In fact, Bahrain Polytechnic was established by Royal Decree in 2008 with the specific mission to ‘produce work-ready graduates, equipped with the necessary 21st century skills before entering today’s corporate world – be it local, regional, or international labour markets.’
The PBL initiative, which has recently been refined into its PPrBL form is being rolled out for full implementation across all the Polytechnic programmes over a five year implementation plan.
Mr. Abdulridha mentioned that “Employers in Bahrain have had excellent reviews and comments about Bahrain Polytechnic students who have had either work-integrated learning or internships done at their companies or have been eventually hired after graduation. The Polytechnic’s learning and teaching approach has proven to reinforce the development of ‘employability skills’ identified by a range of stakeholders in the Kingdom: government, employers, and students. Those skills include: teamwork, communication, problem solving, planning, learning, initiative and enterprise. These have now launched the Bahrain Polytechnic graduates to be top choices by top companies in the Kingdom.
Dr. Rogelio said, “Problem and Project-based Learning has moved us away from more traditional forms of teaching and a provides a clearly defined platform to segue to our employability framework which we developed with the help of the HEA, now part of Advance HE. We feel that PPrBL has been a great way to develop skills and attributes of our students, giving them a head-start in taking their place in an increasingly diverse economy and giving them the confidence to play their part as a global citizen whatever their chosen path is post university.
“These posters map our approaches in both interlinked areas and we’re delighted to be sharing our work with delegates at this conference.”
Bahrain Polytechnic was established by the Bahrain Government to address the need for a skilled Bahraini labour force, with the aim of supporting economic growth and diversification. Bahrain Polytechnic delivers applied, professional and technical qualifications: graduates “will be work-ready; confident and competent, aware of what is expected of them in the professional world, and able to perform to their full potential.”