Valencia to Help Guide the Establishment of Community College in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Valencia College has signed an agreement with Princess Noura University (PNU) to develop several Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees that the university would offer at a new women’s community college in Saudi Arabia, the planning of which Valencia would also have a hand in.

Today, college leaders announced the international partnership to help strengthen Valencia’s outreach abroad and to give Saudi Arabian women the opportunity to acquire job skills in a two-year program that could also transition to a baccalaureate program.

“The relationship with PNU builds on the work of Valencia to foster ties with educational institutions abroad,” said Gaby Hawat, Valencia’s senior executive for strategic initiatives and economic development, who initiated the partnership. “We’re very excited to play a role in the development of the first all-women community college in Saudi Arabia and to be a part of this positive historic initiative in the Middle East at this time.”

The new community college will operate within PNU, considered to be the world’s largest university for women with approximately 55,000 students.

The college’s agreement with PNU calls for the development of degrees in business and computer science, in addition to helping PNU with a wide-ranging number of issues on how the new college will be designed. The contract with PNU will compensate Valencia for its work on the project and also provides full stipends for staff time and travel.

Similar initiatives at Valencia have included a collaboration with Koning Willem 1 College in the Netherlands, which resulted in faculty exchanges and cross-cultural experiences for students. In addition, Valencia leaders have sought to boost the number of international students taking classes at the college through its Intensive English Program. The IEP program is designed to help international students who don’t have a sufficient level of English language proficiency to be accepted to a U.S. college or university. By starting at Valencia’s IEP, students can improve their English skills and transition into a degree program at Valencia or elsewhere in the United States.

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