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Practice makes perfect at ACK

Article - March 8, 2013
Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) offers industry-relevant, competency-based training in a unique 2+2 degree program based on the Australian vocational curriculum
Opened in 2004, the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) is the country’s first vocational college that provides Kuwaiti students with an alternative to a traditional university education. 
Students who do not leave secondary school with the GPA needed to enter university can attend ACK for a foundation year in which they work on improving their English, math and study skills, says Abdullah Al-Sharhan, ACK Chairman. Once they pass, they can go on to join a two-year diploma program and from there, they can continue their education to receive a Bachelor’s degree in the college’s own 2+2 program, unique in Kuwait. 
“ACK was predicated on giving students a second chance, and to create a fresh opportunity for them. That was to be achieved by improving their learning skills and giving them a little bit of theory and a lot of practice,” says Mr. Al-Sharhan. “We open the door for academic progress to those who are capable and desire to continue.” 
He adds that competency-based training provides students not only with skills and knowledge, but the right attitude as well. “We are also offering degree programs that build on the competency-based diploma courses. These degrees, although vocational in approach, develop critical thinking and problem solving capabilities in students using curriculum-based university courses.”
The college was established in conjunction with Australian universities – as Mr. Al-Sharhan considers the Australian vocational curriculum to be the best in the world – and holds active partnerships with the University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Polytechnic, and the Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia, among others. 
“International cooperation has always been a basic ingredient of our operations,” explains the chairman. 
ACK, which focuses on business and engineering, works closely with the private sector and industry so as to keep a finger on the pulse of current trends and needs. 
“If you do not work together with industry, you won’t know what they want,” says Mr. Al-Sharhan. “I would like to see the college producing the human capital that the country needs, hence our collaboration with industry.”
Backing up this desire are the college’s purpose-built campus in West Mishref and its state-of-the-art facilities – including a ground-based Boeing 737-200 aircraft, aviation test benches, a 57-foot boat, and a state-of-the art marine simulator – which allow ACK to provide unique training opportunities in Kuwait.