The Directorate of Higher Education Reviews (DHR) had been established, as a Directorate under the Education and Training Quality Authority (BQA) in 2008. The DHR is working according to five main objectives, which are to:
- Enhance the quality of higher education in Bahrain by conducting reviews of the quality assurance arrangements of HEIs in the Kingdom and identifying areas of improvement and areas of strength
- Conduct programme reviews within higher education to ensure that the standards of the BQA review frameworks, which are aligned to international standards are being met
- Ensure that there is public accountability of higher education providers, through the provision of an objective assessment of the quality of each provider and its programmes (documented in Review Reports) for use by parents, students, the Higher Education Council (HEC), and other relevant bodies
- Promote quality assurance in higher education through (i) facilitating capacity development workshops and related activities; (ii) liaising with the HEC, industry, businesses and other stakeholders; and (iii) identifying good practice where it exists and disseminating it throughout the Bahraini higher education sector
- Serve an advocacy role for Bahrain higher education within the Kingdom, the region and internationally.
The DHR carries out two types of reviews that are complementary. These are the Institutional Reviews, where the whole Institution is assessed according to specific Standards and Indicators, and the Academic Programme Reviews (APRs), where the quality of teaching, learning and academic standards are assessed in academic programmes within various Colleges according to specific Standards and Indicators. The DHR passes its judgements on both types of reviews.
The DHR completed Cycle 1 of the Institutional Reviews in 2013. Cycle 2 of Institutional Reviews commenced in the academic year 2018-2019 based on the Institutional Review Framework (Cycle 2) that was approved by the Council of Ministers Resolution No. (38) of 2015. With regards to the APRs (Cycle 1), this was divided into two phases. During phase 1, the review Indicators were applied to a limited number of academic programmes in different Colleges and this phase was completed in 2011. Phase 2 was conducted during the period from May 2012 to December 2017, with all academic programmes offered by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Kingdom of Bahrain being subjected to reviews. Cycle 2 of the programme reviews commenced in the academic year 2019-2020, following the approval of the revised APRs Framework (Cycle 2) by the Council of Ministers Resolution No.17 of 2019.