Bahrain Polytechnic hosted the Postsecondary International Network (PIN) Conference from 1st-5th November 2015 at various companies in Bahrain; an international forum which aims to improve and expand the means by which the educational institution serves its own community, and recognizing the community’s place in an international setting.
The five day conference theme was about “Experiential Learning and Work-Readiness”, as the delegates from the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand delivered their presentations at different locations around Bahrain, including Bahrain Polytechnic, GPIC, Alba, and BIC.
The Polytechnic officially opened the conference on 2nd November at its campus under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bahrain Polytechnic, attended by industry representatives, the Polytechnic’s executive and senior management, staff and students. Keynote speeches were delivered by Dr. Michael Chipps (President of Northeast Community College in Nebraska, USA) and Phil Ker (CEO of Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand).
The delegates were taken to Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) on 3rd November, where they were received by GPIC President Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, who was on the Polytechnic establishing Board, and one of the biggest supporters of Bahrain Polytechnic. Speaking before the conference, Dr. Jawahery welcomed the international delegates and highlighted the role of conferences similar to PIN in advancing technical and professional education, and sharing best practice from around the world. Talks at the GPIC focused on one-stop-shop student service centers concept, and “Designing the curriculum design to develop work-ready graduates”.
Alba (Aluminum Bahrain) became the delegate’s 4th day agenda, as the CEO of Alba, Tim Murray, received the delegates at their site. Bahrain Polytechnic was acknowledged by Alba for its continued collaboration with the industry. In his address, Tim Murray stressed the value of sustained workforce development and education and the importance of applied institutions for the economic and industrial development. Conference delegates who attended the Alba conference spoke about Multicultural and Global Competencies as Key Skills for the 21st Century Workforce as well as Problem Based Learning as an approach to delivery of academic programmes in Bahrain Polytechnic.
The PIN Conference concluded on 5th November with a series of talks at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) on Creating a Culture of Sustainability within Two- Year Colleges, and Developing, Assessing and Reporting Learner Capability. The last day of the conference also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Bahrain Polytechnic and Otago Polytechnic, signed by Acting CEO Dr. Mohamed Al Aseeri and Otago Polytechnic, by CEO Phil Ker.
On this occasion, Dr. Al Aseeri stated: “We are pleased with the signing [with Otago Polytechnic], as they share a similar teaching style as Bahrain Polytechnic; focusing on practical work with a hands-on approach.
“The PIN conference mainly focuses in the field of education, and we considered this as a great opportunity to host in our Kingdom, as these educational conferences are a step towards meeting the Bahrain 2030 Vision and government action plan 2015-2018.
Dr. Hasan Almulla, Deputy CEO: Academic Services, was delighted to see a successful PIN Conference take place for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa since the network was established 40 years ago.
“We aimed at providing maximum exposure to delegates of the achievements of the Kingdom of Bahrain in various fields, particularly education and industry. We have also made sure that conference delegates appreciate the rich history of the Kingdom which dates 7000 years. We were delighted to hear the feedback from our international delegates on the conference which they thought was the best conference they have attended in many years.
“On behalf of the Bahrain Polytechnic Executive Management, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all sponsors which contributed to the success of the PIN Conference, namely:
- Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company
- Aluminum Bahrain
- Bahrain National Gas Company
- Bahrain Petroleum Company
- Economic Development Board
- National Oil & Gas Authority
- Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain
- Bahrain Development Bank
- Bahrain International Circuit