TAIF: Taif University aims to further its academic and administrative development plan through a combination of experience and successful international cooperation, including partnerships with a number of American universities, said Dr. Hossam bin Abdul Wahhab Zaman, the university’s president.
His comments came at the end of a visit by a delegation from Taif University to six outstanding US universities, including Georgetown University in Washington DC, the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Harrisburg University, Pennsylvania. The aim was to strengthen cooperation, build partnerships, and learn and benefit from their experience in the educational and academic fields.
Dr. Zaman said that the visit comes as Taif University seeks to implement its development plan in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transition Program 2020, by linking it to the best international practices.
“The university chose to visit these six universities to achieve the desired objectives of the tour, what with these universities achieving advanced rankings among American universities in the fields of developing the educational process, especially at the undergraduate level, and student-enrichment programs, not to mention their excellent MA and PhD programs that take job-market requirements into consideration,” he said.
Dr. Zaman added that the choice of universities to visit also reflected their ability to attract highly qualified academics, and to develop institutional programs to improve performance by linking them to educational goals and applying the best skills of university teaching. He also pointed out that in short periods of time these universities had successfully improved their educational development and university environment rankings, so much so that Taif University was keen not only to learn from their experiences but also to emulate them.
The delegation met with leading representatives of the six universities, including rectors, provosts and deans, including Dr. Michael V. Drake, president of Ohio State University, and Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University, who both expressed their happiness with the visit and a readiness for representatives of their universities to visit Saudi Arabia soon and work on building strategic partnerships. The delegates also met a number of students studying a range disciplines at the universities.
Dr. Zaman said that the discussions included: A review of the latest methods to develop the educational and teaching process in higher education; how to enrich university life; ways to cooperate in the sharing of experience; how to develop and offer academic programs in partnerships between Taif University and other institutions; the latest and best practices in the evaluation of the educational process; improving the quality of educational services; forming connections with administrative leaderships and international-cooperation centers in US universities; and sharing common experiences.
He stressed that the delegation was keen to convey not only the Kingdom’s progress in achieving the aims of Vision 2030 but also, and especially, Taif University’s rapid and strategic response to cope with this national transformation.
The delegation members will soon announce new programs, projects, and partnerships, said Dr. Zaman, as well as plans to implement them in cooperation with the universities they had visited.
The other members of the delegation included: the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Development Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Asmari; the Vice President for Female Student Affairs Dr. Iman Al-Zahrani; the Dean of Academic Development Dr. Awadh Al-Juaid; the Dean of Community Service and Continuing Education Dr. Rana Zaini; the Dean of the College of Pharmacy Dr. Majid Al-Rubai’an; the Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology Dr. Jihad Al-Omari; the Dean of Ancillary Studies Dr. Mansour Al-Malki; the President’s Adviser and Supervisor of Public and Media Relations Saleh Al-Thubaiti; and administrative staff members Omar Rashid and Awadh Al-Maliki.