Strathclyde partners with Princess Nourah University to deliver STEM and Business education to Saudi women

Riyadh city skyline at dusk

The University of Strathclyde is at the forefront of a strategic push for an education initiative to upskill women in Saudi Arabia by becoming the first UK higher education institution to establish a presence in the Kingdom.

Staff from Strathclyde will deliver teaching in technology, engineering, science, business and humanities, as part of a movement in the country to expand the role of women in the fields of STEM, business and in wider society.

The project has the full backing of the governments of both the UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Based at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University – the world’s largest all women institution – courses are due to run from September 2024 as part of a wave of UK education providers expanding into the region. The University of Strathclyde will deliver educational programmes to develop the required talent in the region while partnering in strategic research and innovation themes to drive economic value and create strategic collaborative R&D opportunities.

In partnership with Princess Nourah University, Strathclyde is in the final stages of the agreement and formal governance approvals of the business plan and collaboration agreement. The project aligns with Kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 Strategy which aims to generate greater innovation, sustainability and competitiveness.

Ground-breaking education

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “We are honoured to be the first ever UK university to establish a formal presence in Saudi Arabia and look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University to deliver ground-breaking education.

“As a socially-progressive university, we are particularly pleased to play a part in empowering women in the Kingdom. Only by working together and collaborating internationally with mutual respect can we tackle the grand challenges of our world and ensure we use innovation to grow our economies in a sustainable way; not least in addressing Net Zero targets, technological innovation and public health improvements.

“As more opportunities arise for women in the Kingdom, the University of Strathclyde will help women, and men, to develop the knowledge and skills they need to flourish.

Strathclyde is an international, innovative and entrepreneurial university which is at the intersection of engineering, science, technology, business and humanities and we are delighted to be able to bring our distinctive approach to students in Saudi Arabia.

“We have a long history of welcoming Saudi students to Glasgow and look forward to expanding our educational links and we are delighted to partner with a first-class institution like Princess Nourah University.”

Distinguished leaders

Minister for Trade Policy, Greg Hands said: “British education is rightly prized around the world, and it’s great to see enterprising companies capitalising on this demand.

“The trade deal we are doing will make it easier for companies of all kinds to connect with new customers in the Gulf, which in turn helps create jobs and prosperity back home.”

Professor Einas bint Sulaiman Aleisa, President of PNU, said: “The program between our two universities comes within the framework of transferring knowledge and expertise to promote academic excellence, research innovation and international knowledge cooperation.

“This global partnership will create an international education experience for female students, enabling them to acquire 21st century skills and develop the capabilities of future generations of distinguished leaders.”

The initial programmes – to be taught by Strathclyde staff in Riyadh – will be at the Masters and PhD level in a range of subject areas.