Saudi Arabia and UK Deliberate on Enhancing Educational Partnership
Saudi Arabia and the UK are advancing their educational partnership, as the Saudi Education Minister, Yousef Al-Benyan, meets with British university representatives, including Steve Smith, the British PM's Special Representative to Saudi Arabia on Education.
The talks, underscored by Al-Benyan in Riyadh, aim to bolster the strategic relationship in education initiated in 2018, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signing an MoU.
The partnership targets six areas: deepening educational ties; upgrading Saudi educators' skills; fostering university collaboration including research, scholarships, and transnational programs; establishing British schools and universities in Saudi Arabia; professional training, especially in healthcare; and aligning education with Saudi Vision 2030 goals.
The agreement emphasizes sharing special needs and curriculum development policies, opening two British universities in Saudi Arabia by 2025, and promoting exchange programs to enhance Saudi students' skills and research opportunities.
Discussions also reviewed science and technology education in the UK, investment in Saudi higher education, and the Saudi Innovative Educational City initiative. Research and innovation cooperation, national research strategies, and the British Council's role in university partnerships were also explored.
Furthering these aims, Loughborough University and the Saudi Leaders Development Institute (LDI) signed a declaration of intent to bolster sports education and promote equality. The deal was inked by LDI's Dr. Mezna Al-Marzooqi and Loughborough's Prof. Chris Linton, with both the Saudi Deputy Sports Minister and the British Ambassador present.
Loughborough University will support professional sports development programs and training provider capabilities in Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, King Abdulaziz University hosted a scientific forum with British universities, focusing on educational and research cooperation. Representatives from 18 UK universities also visited Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University to discuss potential collaborative ventures, including scientific exchanges and the use of research facilities.