An erudite and learned man, Isa bin Salman enjoyed immersing himself in poetry and literature, and engaging with politicians, intellectuals and artists. His particular concern for higher education led Bahrain to flourish as the intellectual capital of the Arabian Gulf region. He established the Higher Institute for Male Teachers in 1966 and the Higher Institute for Female Teachers a year later in cooperation with UNESCO and the United Nations Development Program.
Many schools institutions, colleges, and universities were established in subsequent years, including:
The Gulf Technical College (1968) which later became the Gulf Polytechnic College (1981)
The Hotel and Catering Training Centre (1974)
The College of Health Sciences,
established under the supervision of the Ministry of Health (1976)
The University College of Art, Science and Education (1978)
The Arabian Gulf University (1979)
The University of Bahrain (1986)
The late Amir also dedicated his time to meeting Bahrain literary community, and encouraging their work and accomplishments. During his reign, Bahrain was ranked first in the Arab region for producing acclaimed authors and published works. The number of titles published for just two of the numerous Bahraini writers at that time (1961-1999) reached around 1,486, covering different fields of knowledge. To this day, Bahraini nationals enjoy a reputation for being amongst the region most highly educated and cultured peoples.