While salaries and career progression are certainly factors for expat workers, they are hardly the only considerations. Indeed, for those expats with families, ensuring that the whole family group can be fully serviced is of critical importance. This means placing just as much emphasis on partners and children as on the expat lucky enough to be offered their overseas post.
Of these, selecting the right schooling for your children can not only make or break their happiness, but can also set them up for success or failure in the country as they mature, and start to look at career options.
In light of this, Saudi Arabia has recently announced the introduction of a new international-grade university into the Kingdom. The first such establishment in SA, it is hoped that this is the first of many such institutions to be launched here. It is expected that the new university should act as a “beacon” for other global educational institutions, helping them to assess the educational requirements in Saudi Arabia and the best way to meet these needs.
Other universities are likely to be welcomed with open arms, not only helping to boost Saudi Arabia’s international educational reputation, but also providing suitable places for the children of critical expats to be educated.
The new university is to open in Jeddah, and will offer engineering and business management degrees. Other courses are likely to follow shortly in light of pupil demand. The university is set to be a joint venture between the Saudi government and Indian-based Bapuji Institute of Science and Technology.
The Bapuji Institute has decades of experience in providing educational facilities, currently boasting over 50 Bapuji-controlled teaching establishments around the world. As a result, the Saudi government are supremely confident about the success of this project, and expect it to become the model that other universities will follow.
The long-term goal is to turn Saudi Arabia into a global leader in further education, helping to not only improve educational standards for Saudi nationals, but to also make attracting expatriate talent from around the world easier than ever before.
Right now, Saudi Arabia boasts over 10 million foreign workers, but very few high-level universities. As a result, many hundreds of thousands of expats send their children abroad for their education; something that is making the kingdom less attractive for expats than some competing countries in the Middle East.
Now, it seems, this is all set to change with the introduction of this new 13-college university.