Market Intelligence
Undergraduate Study Kuwait

Kuwait Education Registration Process for US Academic Institutions


Kuwait spends heavily on improving its educational system. Currently there are over 6,000 Kuwait students studying in the United States with most of the students on the Kuwait government scholarship program. The objective of this report is to advise about the registration process in Kuwait as well as understand the needs of Kuwaiti students.. 

Brief about the Scholarship Department at the Ministry of Higher Education, Kuwait:

Kuwaiti students who have a high school diploma or equivalent are eligible to apply for the Ministry of Higher Education Scholarship Program to undergraduate studies including one year of English Language Studies. The objectives of the scholarship program are to foster closer ties between countries, provide cultural exchange and knowledge, give Kuwaiti students the opportunity to study in various fields of study offered abroad and required needed by the State of Kuwait. 

In 2018, the Ministry of Higher Education has adopted a new regulation stating that Kuwaiti students seeking to obtain a scholarship to study in the United States are required to obtain a score of 5 in IELTS (an equivalent of TOEFL) to be accepted in the program. There is no limit on the number of scholarships. In July 2022, the Kuwaiti government provided 3,454 external scholarships, 1,234 for the United States.

Universities must be approved by the Kuwait National Bureau for Academic Accreditation and Education Quality Assurance (NBAQ). U.S. universities targeting Kuwaiti students should approach the Cultural Office of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Washington, DC, and request inclusion on its list of pre-approved universities. The Cultural Office will send the request with all the required documents to the National Bureau for Academic Accreditation & Education Quality Assurance for its review.

Steps for a University’s Program/Major to be Added to the Approved List for Kuwaiti Scholarship Students:

Before applying to add your university’s program to the approved list, first review the Kuwaiti government’s approved list to make sure your program isn’t already listed:

As a U.S. university, your point of contact will always be the Kuwait Cultural Office in the United States. The Kuwait Cultural office will liaise with all other relevant Kuwaiti government agencies on your behalf. There are two offices based in Washington, DC and Los Angles, California. 

1.    U.S Universities should contact the Kuwait Cultural Office to request their programs be added to the approved list for Kuwaiti students, based on the following locations:

•    West Coast – Kuwait Cultural Office in Los Angeles, USA
•    Covers the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Utah
•    Phone: (310) 746-4789
•    Email: 

•    East Coast - Kuwait Cultural Office in Washington D.C., USA
•    Covers all other states not listed in West Coast office.
•    Phone: (202) 364-2100
•    Email: 

2.    Once the request is received, the Kuwait Cultural Office will request some additional information about your program. The Cultural Office will send your information to the National Bureau for Academic Accreditation & Education Quality Assurance (NBAQ).
3.    Research regarding the program is conducted by the Academic Accreditation Dept. at NBAQ.
4.    The Cultural Office is notified of NBAQ’s decision to add the university program on the approved list. In case of an approval, an official Ministerial Decision is issued, and the program is added to the list of approved programs and the U.S. university will be notified. 

To learn more about getting on the approved list and reaching out the Cultural office, please contact Rasha Al-Muhtaseb, Commercial Specialist, Education sector at

Cultural Office of the Kuwait Embassy:

The Cultural Office of the Kuwait Embassy seeks to promote the higher education plans and strategies of the Kuwaiti government by placing its scholars in quality programs and preparing them for the market needs of the country. Students and scholars are advised in their studies and the office ensures they are attending superior educational programs to prepare them for the market needs of the State Kuwait. 

The majority of students that the office oversees are sponsored through the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education, but there are a smaller number of students through special Kuwait sponsors; graduate students and scholars; and privately funded students. The dedicated individuals working for the Kuwait Cultural Office make it their goal to facilitate the academic success of Kuwaiti students and to promote the educational objective of the Ministry of Higher Education and the State of Kuwait.

National Bureau for Academic Accreditation & Education Quality Assurance (NBAQ):

The National Bureau for Academic Accreditation and Education Quality Assurance (NBAQ) is the government entity that manages the list of approved university programs for Kuwaitis to study. NBAQ’s aim is to improve the level of programs of higher education institutions in the State of Kuwait and identify higher education institutions in other countries, whose certificates and qualified graduates merit endorsement in Kuwait through continuous assessments of those institutions and their programs.  This procedure goes according to the standards of international accreditation bodies to control the quality of higher education. Universities must meet the specific criteria of NBAQ in order to be included on the approved list. From the United States, there are currently 12,322 approved Bachelor’s programs, 8,927 for the Master’s and 5,765 Doctorate programs.

Additional Resources:
Student Checklist for Documents Needed to Attend U.S. University:

To learn more about the education system in Kuwait, please reach out to Rasha Al-Muhtaseb, Commercial Specialist, Education sector at