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Environmental engineering education (E3) in the Gulf Co-operation Countries

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The six members of the Gulf Co-operation Countries (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - are facing enormous environmental challenges associated with rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, especially in the last three decades, due to its role as a global hydrocarbon energy centre. None of these countries have systematic and specialised academic programmes with the sole purpose of Environmental Engineering Education (E3). The current status of E3 in the universities across the region is surveyed and thus the individual and collective higher education policies towards environmental affairs are highlighted. The E3 policies of the regional universities are then compared to the benchmark status of the European and the US universities. The ABET criteria are used to evaluate non-E3 programs. The survey shows that the environmental engineering subjects were mostly taught under the umbrella of civil or chemical engineering departments in the GCC countries. An educational scheme for E3 in the GCC higher education institutes is proposed that is based on the evolution of E3 approach in the Western universities.

Keywords: Curriculum development; Environmental engineering education; Higher education

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain 2: Department of Environmental Engineering, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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