Kuwait's principal institution of higher education, established in 1966 and geared to prepare Kuwaitis for professional careers in a variety of fields.
When it opened in 1966, Kuwait University consisted of colleges of science, art, and education, and a college for women. It had 31 faculty members and 418 students. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991, occupation forces looted and damaged the university and used some of its buildings to hold prisoners. Much of the war's damage was repaired within a year of the country's liberation, and by the mid-1990s enrollments had attained prewar levels. The student body has always had a Kuwaiti majority, and in the late 1990s there were 13,261 Kuwaitis and 1,397 non-Kuwaitis enrolled. The student body consists of about twice as many women as men.
By the early twenty-first century, the number of colleges had expanded from the original four to twelve, including colleges of dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, and shariʿa and Islamic studies. The number of students reached 19,000, with 1,297 teaching staff. In mid-2003, plans were being implemented to establish a college of marine science. Most of the colleges are coeducational; the college of women provides a same-sex environment and courses of study in nutrition, food and family studies, information science, and communication science and languages.
see also kuwait; shariʿa.
Lesko, John P. "Kuwait." In World Education Encyclopedia: A Survey of Educational Systems Worldwide, vol. 2, edited by Rebecca Marlow-Ferguson. Detroit, MI: Gale Group, 2002.
malcolm c. peck
updated by anthony b. toth