Impact of Education Tourism on Bahrain’s Economic Growth: A Perspective

Ramzi Nekhili, Saad Darwish, Marwan Mohamed Abdeldayem


The existence of international students makes an investigation of the impact on a country’s economy topical. Despite the complexity of measuring the economic impact of education tourism, many countries have conducted analyses to justify that international higher education students have a positive impact on the public economy. In the Gulf States, efforts to reform and modernize higher education to create knowledge-based societies are ongoing. Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) share a regional vision to make the Arab Gulf a hub for a world-class education. Arab higher education systems that were long characterized by mass production of graduates and incremental support from the state are now shifting to new Western models of higher education. Several factors, including the development of the knowledge economy, massive access to higher education and increasing higher education differentiation are contributing to this push. To achieve this vision, the Gulf States have adopted the Western research university model by hosting international branch campuses (IBCs) in the region. GCC governments have also embraced study abroad scholarship programs that sponsor large numbers of Gulf nationals to study in Western universities.

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