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  • Ahmed Saleh

Al-Benyan drives collaboration: Saudi Education Minister in talks with British universities

Riyadh, December 05, 2023, The Minister of Education, Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Benyan, actively participated in roundtable discussions held at the Ministry of Education headquarters in Riyadh, fostering collaboration between Saudi and British universities. The distinguished gathering included Professor Sir Steve Smith, the British Prime Minister's Special Representative to Saudi Arabia for Education, along with higher education leaders and representatives from universities in both nations.

In his opening speech, Minister Al-Benyan extended a warm welcome to Professor Smith and the representatives, acknowledging the crucial role of such roundtable discussions in fortifying the ongoing strategic partnership in education between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. He highlighted that this collaborative effort began in 2018 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the British Prime Minister signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a strategic educational partnership.

Al-Benyan outlined the six main focus areas of this strategic partnership, encompassing the development of a robust educational alliance, support for the professional growth of Saudi educators, and the enhancement of their knowledge, skills, and capabilities. The partnership also involves strengthening collaboration in higher education, including research cooperation, student scholarships, and cross-border education.

Notably, the minister announced the upcoming establishment of two British universities in the Kingdom by 2025, underscoring the commitment to fostering educational opportunities. He emphasized the activation of student exchange programs within Saudi universities, ensuring that students benefit from the latest knowledge and practical training.

Furthermore, Al-Benyan highlighted the intent to enhance research opportunities for scholars from both nations, fostering joint research projects that yield high-quality outcomes. The agenda of the roundtable discussions covered a comprehensive range of topics, including global partnerships in education, investment in higher education in Saudi Arabia, and the innovative education city initiative. The discussions also delved into research and innovation cooperation, a review of the national system for research, development, and innovation in the Kingdom, and the crucial role played by the British Council in supporting educational cooperation between the two nations.

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