Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is AIU located?

AIU is located about 20 miles (or 30 minutes) outside of Kuwait City in Al Jahra.

2. Who is the AIU president?

Previously the AIU provost, Dr. Michael Pishko is the current president of AIU. He has over 30 years of experience in higher education. Before coming to Kuwait, he served as the Dean of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Wyoming and Department Head of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Ph.D. In Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

3. Who are the founders of AIU?

The Board of Trustees consists of Jackie Shaw, CEO, and Fayza Al Kharafi, Areej Al Ghanim, and Nael Al Awadhi. Dr. Michael Pishko serves as AIU’s president. AIU is owned and operated by Ali Al-Ghanim & Sons Group, which also operates the American Baccalaureate School, Oxford Learning and Kids Inn.

4. What degree programs are offered at AIU?

Currently, AIU offers a wide array of undergraduate B.A. and B.S. degrees and certificate programs across six six schools, including film and digital media, architecture and design, business, engineering and computing, education, and arts and science.

5. What is the cost of attendance?

Information on cost of attendance is found here. The cost per credit hour varies from 190 to 260 KD (Kuwaiti Dinar), or approximately $600-850.00 USD.

6. What is the current and projected enrollment?

AIU currently enrolls over 1,500 students and an additional 500 students are enrolled in AIU’s English Foundation Program. Total enrollment is projected to stabilize at approximately 3,500 students.

7. Is AIU accredited?

AIU is provisionally accredited in Kuwait by the Private Universities Council (PUC).  The University is also seeking eligibility for accreditation with Western Association of Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

8. Where is AIU located?

AIU is located about 20 miles (or 30 minutes) outside of Kuwait City in Al Jahra. Al Jahra is the capital of the Al Jahra Governorate of Kuwait, which is one of the six Governates of Kuwait and the largest. The surrounding area is agriculturally based primarily producing fruit and vegetables.

9. Does AIU currently have U.S. partner institutions?

As part of its “AIU Vision 2027” strategic plan, AIU is actively seeking to develop a robust portfolio of international partnerships and linkages. Currently, AIU is affiliated with Wayne State University who academic content support, consultation on curricula, and evaluation for its programs and degrees in the fields of engineering, business, film studies, and education.

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.