KAUST & British Council deliver free virtual learning for Saudi youth

Maha Aldubayan Manager of KAUST’s Social Responsibility department
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Updated 05 August 2020

KAUST & British Council deliver free virtual learning for Saudi youth

As part of an ongoing partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the British Council delivered English classes for the university’s annual Science Summer Camp (SSC), which was held virtually for the first time.
This summer, schoolchildren from Jeddah and surrounding communities learned English through the British Council’s young learners program, integrated with KAUST’s summer camp (SSC) and virtual English conversation clubs.
Now in its third year, the camp aims to cultivate student interest and ability in science and maths, while providing holistic development in skills such as English to help students thrive in their academic journeys.
Grant Butler, director of English Language Services British Council, Saudi Arabia, said: “We have a longstanding relationship with KAUST and are delighted to again be involved in their Science Summer Camp and deliver English language lessons as part of the overall program.
“With COVID-19, there is a need to try to maintain a certain sense of normalcy, and part of that normalcy is the camp experience. We hope that the students got the most out of our new online classes and engaged in some fun learning with new friends over the past three weeks.”


In addition to English, KAUST’S summer camp offered courses in 21st-century skills and theory, ranging from solar energy, to programming, coding and cybersecurity.

In addition to English, SSC offered courses in 21st-century skills and theory, ranging from solar energy, to programming, coding and cybersecurity.
“Running this year’s Science Summer Camp in a virtual environment was a challenge, but we are delighted with the results and that we were able to show students they can still grow and learn in times of uncertainty,” said Maha Aldubayan, manager of KAUST’s Social Responsibility department, which administers the camp.
“Everyone involved at KAUST and our valued partners at the British Council brought their trademark enthusiasm, patience and imagination to make the best of the opportunity.”
Najah Ashry, vice president for KAUST’s Strategic National Advancement, said: “KAUST has a crucial role in the Kingdom’s development from all perspectives, and this year highlighted the importance of constant engagement and community support — a hallmark of our efforts since the beginning. The British Council has always understood our unique mission, so navigating this new reality with them was as rewarding for us as it was impactful for our local communities. This is just the beginning of what we can do together as we continue to explore innovative models of support for the next generation.”

KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

Updated 24 September 2020

KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has partnered with the investment platform VentureSouq, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator anchored at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and its partner Tamkeen, to launch the first Conscious Investor Fellowship in the GCC. The pan-regional fellowship is a six-week virtual program dedicated to enabling regional investors in the GCC to create sustainable change through impact investments. The program, which will take place from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25, comes as part of the upcoming annual Angel Rising Symposium, to be held virtually between Nov. 24-25, which provides education and conversations on the future of the angel investment sector and how it can fuel national and regional innovation.

The fellowship aims to empower the next generation of regional mission-driven investors who will fuel emerging ventures using technology for meaningful change, resulting in a measurable positive impact. Twenty-five investors from family offices, corporate and government entities will be welcomed as fellows of this inaugural cohort, where they will learn how to identify and invest into tech-enabled impact-driven startups.

The program will cover conscious investment strategies, startup diligence and valuations, impact measurement, portfolio management, and global sector trends in the impact space. Elective thematic masterclasses will also be offered, with a specific focus on health tech, educational tech, environmental tech, and agricultural tech. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge and invest in live deals through VentureSouq’s Conscious Collective Fund. The inaugural edition is held in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center and Hub71.

Hattan Ahmed, head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, said: “KAUST is driven by a mission to advance research and create new technologies that address our greatest global challenge in food, water, energy, and the environment. We are starting to see more deep tech startups emerging from the ecosystem, disrupting existing industries and creating new solutions to these challenges. The Conscious Investor Fellowship is a key step to advancing this ecosystem and educating regional investors about the potential of emerging technologies and their long-term value. For Saudi Arabia in particular, there is a unique opportunity to nurture this deep tech ecosystem for real economic transformation.”

Ramesh Jagannathan, research professor of engineering, vice provost for entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and managing director of startAD, said: “Conscious investment is a growing global force, accelerated by the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. In the UAE, and specifically Abu Dhabi, we have a unique opportunity to engage with this global trend, given that the emirate has the highest net potential wealth globally.”