The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) has successfully achieved the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK-NARIC) benchmarking renewal for its International Foundation Programme (IFP). UK NARIC is the UK’s designated national agency responsible for providing information and expert guidance on academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world.
In 2010, the BIBF introduced the International Foundation Programme, a one-year full-time diploma-style programme intended for individuals with a high school diploma (or comparable qualification) seeking progression to degree-level study with the BIBF or internationally, at institutional discretion. It consists of eight modules, all compulsory, providing students with introductory-level knowledge in business, finance, economics, mathematics, English, accounting as well as the study skills required for transitioning from school to higher education.
In July 2020, UK-NARIC completed an independent and objective evaluation of the IFP (September 2020 specification) in the context of the UK education system, to determine its comparable academic standing using the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) as the main reference point and drawing on similarly-focused General Certificate of Education (GCE) A Levels and other qualifications, where appropriate.
Students who successfully complete the International Foundation Programme will be eligible to progress to the undergraduate degree programmes running at the BIBF, namely: Bangor University Programmes in Accounting and Finance, Banking and Finance, or Islamic Finance, as well as the University of London Programme in Economics & Management. Students may progress to other degree programmes, generally in the stream of social sciences, provided they achieve the qualifying grades required by the other institution/university.
On this occasion, the BIBF Director Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh stated, “This programme is one of the most prestigious programmes available in Bahrain and we are very pleased to say that it has been benchmarked by UK-NARIC, which demonstrates our ability to provide educational solutions at a high standard of quality.”
He also added, “At the BIBF, we are dedicated to providing high quality education to ensure learners are receiving the best support to develop their future career paths.”
The BIBF Head of Academics Centre, Dr. Raja Bucheery stated, “The IFP programme is designed to prepare students for degree level study in Bahrain and in UK universities. Before a student who has completed high school in Bahrain and other GCC states can enter a UK university degree course, they usually have to pass an approved foundation course, which is comparable to UK A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.”
Dr. Bucheery also added, “The BIBF IFP programme is benchmarked by UK-NARIC, as comparable to RQF Level 3, overall General Certificate of Education (GCE) A Level standard. As such, students might be able to enter directly into an undergraduate degree of their choice in the UK or internationally, at institutional discretion.”
On his part, the BIBF Senior Manager of Quality Assurance, Dr. Maitham Aloraibi noted the achievement and credited the award to BIBF’s dedication towards maintaining very high standards of quality and providing the local workforce with locally established, internationally-recognized programmes that are at par with what is offered across the world.
He also added, “Through its established partnerships with international universities, the BIBF is a recognized provider of higher education by Bahrain’s Ministry of Education’s (MOE) and Higher Education Council (HEC).”
The BIBF’s commitment to excellence has strengthened its position as the leading educational provider across all major business disciplines since 1981. It serves as a partner to numerous world-class institutions; delivering thought leadership, assessment and training solutions in the areas of Banking, Islamic Finance, Accounting, Finance, Leadership, Management, Insurance, Digital Transformation and Project Management; resulting in a complete business solution.