‘We Want KAUST to Reach MIT Level’

Click here: Arab News – ‘We Want KAUST to Reach MIT Level’

Al-Nasr said in an exclusive interview with Arab News yesterday that KAUST will be a graduate-level research institution instead of an undergraduate one. “It is the vision of King Abdullah to have this university as a turning point in higher education,” he said. “Hopefully, it will act as a catalyst in transforming Saudi Arabia into a knowledge economy, by directly integrating research produced at the university into our economy.”

…“Unlike many primarily undergraduate universities, KAUST will not have a two-tier faculty,” said Al-Nasr. “All faculties will be of the highest caliber and able to formulate value-added research projects or will have unique background experience — as teachers or in private industry.” Al-Nasr said that English would be the medium of instruction at the university. It will be modeled on such institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. Classrooms will open in September 2009, Al-Nasr said. “The doors and the gates will open then.”

The university’s research agenda aims to accelerate scientific discovery and technological innovation, said Al-Nasr. “On the organizational side, the strategy involves flexible funding and outreach to potential partner institutions, and targeted investments in physical and intellectual infrastructure in order to stimulate collaboration with other research universities and the private sector.

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