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King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, His Gift of Empowerment to His People

HRH King Abdullah, wishing to rekindle and spread the great and noble virtue of learning that marked the Arab and Muslim worlds in earlier times, created the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. To quote HRH King Abdullah, “I am establishing King Abdullah University of Science and Technology on the Red Sea in the Kingdome of Arabia. As a new “House of Wisdom,” the University shall be a beacon for peace, hope, and reconciliation, and shall serve the people of the Kingdom, and benefit all the people of the world, in keeping with the teachings of the Holy Quran, which explains that God created mankind in order for us to come to know each other. It is my desire that this new University become one of the world’s great institutions of research; that it educate and train future generations of scientists, engineers and technologists; and that it foster, on the basis of merit and excellence, collaboration and cooperation with other great research universities and the private sector. The University shall have all the resources that it needs to purse these goals. A perpetual waqf (endowment) is being established, and shall be managed for its benefit by an independent Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall embody wise and responsible governance in support of the spirit of creativity that the University represents.” The King’s vision is KAUST will be a globally renowned graduate research university that makes significant contributions to scientific and technological advancement, and will play a crucial role in the development of Saudi Arabia and the world.

KAUST will be characterized by having cutting-edge, basic and goal-oriented research in science and technology comparable to that of the world’s top 10 science and technology universities, the success of which will be demonstrated by publications, scientific discoveries, technological innovations and a high average citation index (ISI) among KAUS faculty as quoted by KAUST Mission Statement.

According to KAUST, “their mission advances science and technology through bold and collaborative research. It educates scientific and technological leaders, catalyzes the diversification of the Saudi economy, and addresses challenges of regional and global significance, thereby serving the Kingdom and the world. Research and education, as well as their transformative potential are central to KAUST’s mission which is three- part. It is dedicated to advancing science and technology of regional and global impact. Research excellence inspires teaching and the training of future leaders in science and technology. Research and education at KAUST will energize innovation and enterprise to support knowledge-based economic diversification. Through the synergy of science and technology, and innovation and enterprise, KAUST is a catalyst for transforming people’s lives. “Members of the University community are committed to the values of achievement, passion, inspiration, diversity, openness and integrity, and must at all times, uphold these values, which are: Achievement: Determination to advance science and engineering for the welfare of all mankind.”

“Passion: Pursuit of the KAUST mission with enthusiasm and confidence and seeking individuals who share that passion. Inspiration: Commitment to stimulate inspiration and celebrate those with the ability to inspire others. Diversity: Collaboration among scientists, researchers, and students from different disciplines, nationalities, and cultural backgrounds. Openness: Openness which allows students and faculty to think clearly, study freely and examine complex problems through the clear light of reason. Integrity: Commitment to uphold the highest standards of moral, ethical, and professional conduct. Citizenship: Be a good neighbor, and strive to make a positive impact on the University’s surroundings.” (KAUST Vision and Mission)

HRH King Abdullah, an avid reader, with an enormous love for reading books and the printed word, and armed with a perpetual thirst for knowledge, wants to impart on his people, this love, and unquenchable thirst for knowledge, thereby, he gives his people, the opportunity to be a student at KAUST. HRH King Abdullah wants to help transform the lives of his citizens of Saudi Arabia, and help empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to transform their lives and their futures. He wants enable his people to have the best educational facilities and places of learning, at KAUST, which is noted to be world renowned university in Thuwul, Saudi Arabia, with cutting edge medical, research, business and computer technology programs, and educational capabilities. The best Saudi educators and World class instructors were aligned to fill positions within the university, as HRH King Abdullah wants to offer the students the best educational opportunities, to the students. KAUST offers only graduate degrees, and the research agenda provides the foundation for the master’s and doctoral levels of education KAUST offers eleven Ph.D. Programs and Master level Programs in the following Departments: Under the departments of: Chemical and Life Sciences and Engineering Division: Bioscience (B); Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE); Chemical Science (ChemS); and Environmental Science and Engineering (EnSE); and Marine Science (MarSE).

Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering Division, programs consist of:

Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (AMCS); and Computer Science (CS).

Physical Science and Engineering Division: Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE);

Electrical Engineering (EE); Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and

Mechanical Engineering (ME). “All courses at KAUST are taught in English. KAUST maintains flexibility in its fields of study and curricular design in order to attract highly qualified students with diverse agendas and backgrounds. This flexibility helps keep KAUST competitive internationally and ensure that its programs are accepted by, and its credits interchangeable with, the degree programs at other universities around the world”. (KAUST Mission).

HRH King Abdullah’s love of reading and education is a very important part his core values, as reading gives rise to knowledge, power and empowerment. He gave this love to his people by having world class libraries featuring the latest technology for on-line libraries built at KAUST, containing the latest educational materials offered at KAUST, along with access to cutting edge research periodicals, and computer generated research and technology, worldwide research, publications, and educational material, and interactive technology, made available to the students of KAUST University located in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, which is a unique coastal location on the eastern shore of the Red Sea at approximately 80 kilometers north of Jeddah.

HRH King Abdullah is deeply passionate about books and reading, and he established the HRH King Abdullah Library in Riyadh, and he built a second library in Morocco. Knowledge is invaluable, and HRH King Abdullah wants to give all the citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the world, this great opportunity to be empowered with knowledge, through a world class education in Saudi Arabia, with the latest in educational opportunities, par none. KAUST is now able to be listed among the greatest world class universities giving its students the opportunity to learn from the greatest, with the most profound teaching and learning programs, latest research and technology, well-endowed research capabilities, world-class libraries and research facilities, and to be taught by world renown educators and instructors, so that they can partake of this unparalleled educational opportunity, to learn and to transform themselves and their lives into the successful leaders of the next generation. They can then stand out in an elite class of their own, empowered with the ability to teach and lead, research, create, and educate and empower the next generation.

Darlene Cortez is an independent journalist

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