Kuwait University is the major institution of higher education with programs and courses of study in the arts and sciences, education, law, Shari'a, commerce and economics, engineering and petroleum, and medicine. The university was founded in 1966 with an enrollment of 418 (242 male, 176 female). In the early 1980s there were just over 10,000 students enrolled for study at the university, and by the late 1990s Kuwait University's enrollment was nearly 18,000. The university today comprises a coeducational system of education effected through the delivery of instruction at five different campuses. In the academic year 1996-97 the university faculty comprised 942 professors and instructors, 796 of whom were male, and 146 female.
The following summarizes some of the relevant data with regard to the students enrolled in Kuwait University in the academic year 1996-97. The data were obtained from Kuwait Information Office Education Statistics. In science, there were 1,778 Kuwaiti students and 289 non-Kuwaiti students enrolled. In the arts, the numbers were 2,368 Kuwaiti students and 215 non-Kuwaiti students. Numbers for other disciplines include the following:
- Education: 2,505 Kuwaiti students and 356 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Law: 764 Kuwaiti students and 34 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Shari'a: 1,071 Kuwaiti students and 100 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Commerce and Economics:2,182 Kuwaiti students and 159 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Engineering & Petroleum: 1,845 Kuwaiti students and 148 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Medicine: 425 Kuwaiti students and 15 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Allied Medicine: 223 Kuwaiti students and 81 non-Kuwaiti students.
- Total Students for All Subjects: 13,261 Kuwaiti students and 1,397 non-Kuwaiti students.
There are twice as many Kuwaiti women studying at the university level as men. For the women, education represents the preferred major, followed by majors in the arts and sciences as well as commerce and economics. For Kuwaiti men, the preferred major is engineering and petroleum, followed by commerce and economics, the arts and sciences, and Shari'a. The low enrollment for men in education holds out little hope for more Kuwaiti men entering the educational profession in the near future, meaning the dependence on foreign male teachers will likely continue.
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