By Dr Yasser Gomaa
The concept of internationalization has been applied effectively in the field of education since the early 1980s, as it has been linked to other concepts such as global education and multicultural education.
At the start of the twentieth century, another set of concepts related to the concept of internationalization, including education between countries, education without borders and transcontinental education, emerged.
It should be noted that the process of internationalization of higher education includes a set of activities and services that integrate a multicultural international dimension in teaching and research in higher education institutions, such as the promotion of cooperation in the field of scientific research, sharing of research facilities, co-authoring of research publications, inclusion of international perspectives in curricula, encouragement of teachers and students to acquire a second and a third language, mutual recognition of academic credit hours and the equivalence of scientific certificates and diplomas at the international level among educational institutions and the purchase of local universities by foreign investors.
Numerous studies have concluded that there is a close relationship between internationalization and the achievement of scientific leadership for higher education institutions; because they confirm that the effective use of internationalization strategies in higher education institutions gives them a global competitive capacity and makes them prestigious scientific institutions with a global character. Based on the above, it is clear that internationalization is an effective mechanism for transforming higher education institutions from a simple national institution to a global institution capable of giving an international dimension to all aspects of the system that operate in an integrated manner, which helps to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process and the development of the required skills.
Therefore, I call on higher education institutions in Bahrain not to confine themselves to the local space. They should disseminate the culture of internationalization and develop educational programs and activities aimed at raising awareness among their students and preparing them to accept cultural differences and trends which promote international solidarity and understanding of other cultures and equip them with skills. and skills that qualify them to face the international context. In addition, they should establish centers for internationalization and commercialization of their programs at regional and international level.
In addition, they must motivate their students to learn foreign languages, which is one of the essential steps towards the framework of internationalization. Language, in this case, is not only a means of communication but rather a means of understanding the cultures of other peoples. It is also important that they are fully aware that internationalization is one of the most influential factors in the international rankings of higher education institutions.
In addition to this, I call on higher education institutions in Bahrain to put in place viable plans that aim to strengthen cooperation between them, develop their institutional capacities, expand the adoption and use of multiple strategies. internationalization, to improve their efficiency and competitiveness at the international level to be compatible with the demands of internationalization, by adapting contemporary global trends in various academic and research spheres, and by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization .
The aim is to enhance the attractiveness of higher education in Bahrain for foreign students and to keep pace with the new global higher education climate.
It is also about realizing the noble royal vision of His Majesty the redeemed King of the country, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and in accordance with the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and the Honorable Prime Minister . May Allah bless them and preserve them.
The author, Dr Yasser Gomaa, is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bahrain and a member of the British Higher Education Academy. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daily Tribune.