VFS Global opens visa application center in Riyadh

The center was officially inaugurated by Ambassador of the UK to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis and other officials.
Updated 23 September 2018
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VFS Global opens visa application center in Riyadh

VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions, has announced the opening of a UK visa application center in Riyadh, close to the diplomatic quarter.

VFS Global said the new center, which will serve travelers to the UK and Australia, is equipped to handle more visa applicants conveniently with increased seating capacity and ample parking space, while also offering ancillary travel services within the premises for a seamless customer experience.

Officially inaugurating the center, Ambassador of the UK to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis said: “‘Our customers in Saudi Arabia are extremely important to us, and we continually look for new and innovative ways to improve the visa service we offer, both to Saudi nationals and local residents. We offer an excellent visa service for those who choose to apply for a UK visa. 

For Saudi nationals, the average processing time for non-settlement visas is less than five days. Whether speed, convenience or comfort is the priority, we hope that this new VAC — and indeed the visa services available across the whole of Saudi Arabia — provide our customers with a Great British welcome from the very start of their journey to the UK.”

The new center is located at 2591, Al-Hada District, besides Courtyard Marriott Hotel and close to Ritz Carlton, Riyadh. Visa applicants to the UK and Australia can access details on visa application procedures at www.vfsglobal.co.uk/sa/en

Located on the Makkah Road, the center is also well-connected to the city center and other neighboring towns.

Vinay Malhotra, regional group COO for Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global, said: “The new standalone center has been designed with a view to provide a comprehensive experience to applicants in terms of visa processing and accessing necessary travel services under one canopy. The UK continues to remain a popular destination for tourism, business and student visitors from Saudi Arabia. The latest visa figures show that over 130,000 Saudi nationals were issued a UK visa in the last year.We are confident that the new center for the UK and Australia visa applicants will provide enhanced convenience and ensure customer delight.”

Managed by professionals, the center also offers the comfort of a Premium Lounge for more personalized service as optional service.


Alef Education launches first project in US

From right, Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education; Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone and chairman of NexGen Education; and Hanut Singh, CEO of NexGen Education and CEO of QBS Learning.
Updated 17 October 2018
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Alef Education launches first project in US

Alef Education, a UAE-based education technology company, has announced the launch of its Alef education system in the US.

The system will be used at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) schools in New York city, starting Oct. 15.

The Alef education system brings together a blend of the latest technology and pedagogical approaches geared toward learners of today. A key component of the system is the “Alef Platform,” which has three main pillars: 

•A fun and easy-to-use digital learning environment 

•High-quality digital content developed to engage and stimulate learning with a blend of videos, interactivities and games. 

•Real time data provided within each lesson to truly enable educators to support personalized learning and identify student strengths and weaknesses. 

The partnership between Alef Education and the Harlem Children’s Zone schools started in 2017 when leaders of those organizations met. The meeting included a review of best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, the use of technology, and the best ways to identify difficult concepts and detect struggling students early using data. 

Alef Education identified NexGen, an education technology startup based in New York City, as its US-based partner to carry forward the implementation of the program at the Harlem Children’s Zone schools and other school systems across the US. 

Geoffrey Alphonso, chief executive of Alef Education, said: “As a leading education technology company, we want to play a significant role in the creation of the next generation of innovative individuals around the world, and continue to provide the latest innovations in artificial intelligence-based and technology-driven education solutions within a holistic education system.” 

He added: “The implementation of our innovative education system in the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York city speaks of a quantum leap in our long-term mission to leverage technology to provide students with the personalized education they need to succeed, while also empowering teachers with real-time, actionable data.” 

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York and chairman of NexGen Education, named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and as one of the 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alef Education’s innovative education system into our schools in New York as of October 2018. Education systems across the world are witnessing unprecedented transformations and a transition to a more dynamic education based on new technologies. In this context, we have decided to adopt this program to further enrich the resources available to our students to ensure they have access to the best the digital education industry has to offer.”