Education in Kuwait City

School system in Kuwait City

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There are three basic levels of education in Kuwait - elementary, intermediate, and secondary. Each level involves four years of study, and schooling usually begins at age six. Pre-school is available from age four to age six, and students who complete their basic education may carry on to higher education. All stages of state education, including higher education, are free. Students in all Kuwaiti schools study English from the second grade.  Jointly, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education oversee schools in Kuwait.

All Kuwaiti children between the ages of six and fourteen are required to attend school. Education is free for all nationals.  Non-Kuwaitis send their children to private schools.  The school week is Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. Most schools begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m., though this may vary slightly from school to school, district to district. The school year runs from late August/early September to mid-June. Nearly all school holidays are coordinated through the Ministry of Education.

Private School

More and more Kuwaitis are opting not to send their children to government schools and instead, enrolling them at private schools. There are many private schools in Kuwait, providing foreign sponsors and co-ed classes (meaning both boys and girls are taught together). Kuwaiti public schools are segregated by sex beginning in the first grade.

Most private schools in Kuwait fall into two categories, profit and not for profit. Private education is not wholly funded by the government, although it is generously subsidized. The Kuwaiti government injects upwards of KD 5.6 million per year into private educational facilities, which includes allotting land for school construction.


Most Kuwaitis start college at age 18, though some may commence with their studies at a later date. After four years of study, a Bachelor degree is earned. Two further years of study can earn one a Graduate degree. Enrolment at Kuwait University is restricted to Kuwaitis with a very limited number of spaces reserved for foreigners. University courses generally run for one semester.

Here is a list of universities in Kuwait and a brief description of their admission requirements.

Kuwait University

Kuwait University is Kuwait's only government sponsored college. The university offers Bachelor and Graduate degrees in 15 fields of study such as law, medicine, dentistry, architecture, science, education, Sharia and Islamic Studies and many more. Admission requirements are available at Kuwait University's website in Arabic only.

American University of Kuwait

A private liberal arts institution based on the American model of higher education in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Degrees awarded: Bachelors and Graduate degrees in Business and Economics and many others.

Each semester, the Office of Admissions will evaluate all qualified applications and extend offers of admission to academically deserving applicants. The following criteria are considered by the Office of Admissions during the admissions decision process: high school courses and grades, English proficiency, standardized test scores, all previous college level coursework, personal essay, extracurricular activities, and the comparison of an applicant's overall competencies against those of other applicants. All applicants must abide by the application deadlines for full consideration.

The minimum standards required for admission to the AUK undergraduate program include (1) a high school grade point average of at least 2.25 from an American-styled secondary school or the equivalent thereof, and (2) English language proficiency as determined by the TOEFL, IELTS, and other diagnostic measures. Applicants who do not qualify for admission to the undergraduate program due to lack of English language proficiency will be considered for admission to the AUK Intensive English Program.

The institution has very limited resources to allocate for scholarships, work-study programs, and other forms of financial assistance. Therefore students are expected to be able to manage the expenses associated with an education at AUK.

Australian College of Kuwait

The Australian College of Kuwait has a unique arrangement that enables graduates of its Diploma and Degree programs to receive two tetramers: one from ACK and one from its aspiring partner in Australia or Canada. Degrees/Diplomas awarded: Business, Engineering and Aircraft Maintenance. 

International Applicants may apply by: Completing and signing an ACK Degree Application Form and a UTAS International Student Application Form (available from the ACK Admissions Office), photocopy of your Australian TAFE Diploma and Australian TAFE Statement of Academic Record and attach a copy of your Passport, copy of your Civil ID + 2 Passport Photographs.

A non-refundable application fee of KD50 must be paid to ACK when you submit your application.

Box Hill College - Kuwait (BHCK)

Sole private higher education exclusive to women in the State of Kuwait. It operates as an extended campus of Box Hill Institute (BHI), Australia. Diplomas awarded: Applied Arts and Design, Business Studies (various fields) and courses in foundation studies.

Applicants must submit Complete Application Form, two true copies of the original high school transcript (one must be in English), certified by the Ministry of Education in Kuwait, two letters of equivalency from the Private Education Department attesting completion of Year 12 equivalent for non-Arabic high schools or high schools outside of Kuwait, photocopy of your Kuwait Civil ID and passport, five current passport size photos and all prior official high school and/or college/university transcripts

A completed application form and a KD 35 non-refundable application fee.

Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST)

Admission to GUST is on a competitive basis. GUST welcomes applications from students from all types of schools and backgrounds.  It has a dual-enrollment agreement with the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Degrees awarded: Bachelors in Business, Math, Humanities, Mass Communications and many others.

Kuwait Maastricht Business School (KMBS)

A private business college that is counterpart of the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) in the Netherlands. Degrees awarded: MBA

All candidates should have a minimum of 3 years work experience after graduation. If the student was working while studying, then he/she should bring a proof of this work with a description and his/her file will be reviewed by the admissions committee who will decide whether to accept or reject the student.

For foreigners who studied abroad, they should authenticate BOTH their degree and transcript from the Ministry of Higher Education within the country where the degree was obtained, together with the Kuwait Embassy in that country. All candidates should have a valid residency in Kuwait.  Priority will be given to those who apply early.


Besides university libraries, there are numerous public libraries in Kuwait City. They can be found in most neighbors and near public schools.

The National Library is located in Qibla, on Arabian Gulf Street, between Al-Ma'ari Street on the east side and the Sadu House and the National Museum on the west side. The library overlooks the Sief Palace Complex and Kuwait Bay. The overall area encompasses over 21,000 SQ meters.  The Library's location is only a few minutes' walk from the site of the first 18th century settlement in Kuwait and preserved within its limits are the AlKhaled Mosque and Diwaniyah and the AshSharhan Mosque, all built in the 19th century.

The design of the National Library includes two basements and four floors. The two basement levels contain parking spaces for the library staff and visitors, and offices for the preservation of documents. The Library's Ground Floor contains both public and service areas arranged to allow access to the most public spaces directly from the atrium. Adjacent to the main entrance, the café and gift shop are open to the atrium. Extending from the Library's lobby at the ground floor level are public library collections, including the lending section, the Children's Library, Youth Services' Library, the Interlibrary Loans, a Library for the Blind and Handicapped, and an Audio/ Video Library. Service areas on the ground level include Processing, the National Union Catalogue, the National Depository, I.T. and Training Rooms.

The National Library provides users with access to traditional print-form books, journals and special collection material and a digital database of relevant information available regionally and elsewhere.

Update 26/05/2013


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