Operationalising recognition of prior learning (RPL): a case study from Bahrain Polytechnic

Rodney Coombridge (Bahrain Polytechnic, Bahrain)
Shaima Alansari (Bahrain Polytechnic, Bahrain)

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives

ISSN: 2077-5504

Article publication date: 1 January 2019

Issue publication date: 1 January 2019

This content is currently only available as a PDF


This case study describe how Bahrain Polytechnic maintains academic quality while responding to students’ expectations that prior learning will be recognized in a competitive market. Although recognising prior learning is important for enhancing the student experience, Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) need confidence in the quality of transferring students prior learning. Bahrain Polytechnic differ from other HEI’s in the Kingdom of Bahrain in that it delivers applied, professional and technical qualifications. Graduates are expected to 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 (Bahrain Polytechnic, 2017). Programmes, qualifications and courses, and the underlying methodology of how they are delivered are developed in consultation with businesses, industries, professions, international education and training institutions to ensure that Bahrain Polytechnic graduates meet the needs of the labour market, thus supplying Bahrain’s economy with a source of highly skilled graduates. This enforces the use of a unique teaching and learning philosophy represented in Problem-based Learning (PBL) (Bahrain Polytechnic, 2017). Therefore, Bahrain Polytechnic need to be very cautious when assessing any RPL application. This paper identifies student mobility and internationalization as important and legitimate issues for both individual institutions and for educational quality assurance bodies. It then focuses on the Bahrain Polytechnic’s approach in acknowledging students prior learning through formal education. Following significant internal consultation, Bahrain Polytechnic has developed a more robust process for awarding credits/ exemptions to students based on formal education in other approved HEI’s.


Coombridge, R. and Alansari, S. (2019), "Operationalising recognition of prior learning (RPL): a case study from Bahrain Polytechnic", Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 2-12. https://doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v15.n2.282



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Copyright © 2018 Coombridge, R. & Alansari, S


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Publisher's note: The Publisher would like to inform the reader that the article “Operationalising recognition of prior learning (RPL): a case study from Bahrain Polytechnic” has changed pagination. Previous pagination was pp. 1-11. The updated pagination for the article is now pp. 2-12. The Publisher apologises for any inconvenience caused.

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