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Quality assurance and LIS education in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

Sajjad ur Rehman (College of Social Sciences, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the situation and evaluation strategies and processes of nine library and information science (LIS) education programs in the six member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Muscat, and Bahrain. It also aims to explore what accreditation practices can be introduced and how this process can be streamlined.


A survey was conducted, using an electronic questionnaire. Nine schools provided information. Saudi Arabia's four universities have six LIS programs; Kuwait has two, and Qatar and Oman have one each. The paper describes the situation of the LIS programs in terms of their organizational placement, strategic plan, students, faculty, and resources and facilities. It also describes the evaluation efforts undertaken in these programs through self‐study and external assessment and the outcomes of these exercises.


Policies and practices of evaluation through self‐study or external reviewer vary among these programs. None had used evaluation exercises for improving their computing facilities and instructional resources. The LIS programs in the six GCC nations primarily offer undergraduate degrees. There is only one school that is offering a structured Master's program.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one region, but it has implications for neighbouring Arab nations that may also use a similar accreditation model.


This is the first study of its kind in this region that has investigated this vital issue of LIS education in the region.



ur Rehman, S. (2008), "Quality assurance and LIS education in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 7/8, pp. 366-382.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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