KAU becomes member of ALJ’s World Education Lab

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Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Youbi, director of KAU, and Dr. M.S. Vijay Kumar, executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the university premises, recently. — Courtesy photo
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Youbi, director of KAU, and Dr. M.S. Vijay Kumar, executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the university premises, recently. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH —
King Abdelaziz University in Jeddah has joined the membership of the Higher Education Collaborative of Abdul Latif Jameel’s World Education Lab (J-WEL).

At a recent ceremony in the university, in the presence of the university’s vice chancellors, deans and professors, and Dr. Ibrahim Badawood, managing director of Community Jameel, the global philanthropy, and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Youbi, director of KAU, welcomed Dr. M.S. Vijay Kumar, executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“The university is striving to keep pace with global developments in higher education and to build partnerships with renowned international educational institutions,” Dr. Al-Ayoubi commented. He referred to a recent royal decree establishing a national center for artificial intelligence and database management in Saudi Arabia, adding that KAU is proud to be among the first universities in Saudi Arabia to sign a partnership agreement with J-WEL at MIT, one of the world’s most reputed organizations in the field of artificial intelligence, a step that perfectly aligns with Saudi Arabia’s agenda in this regard.

KAU, Saudi Arabia’s leading public university, expects to address the country’s Vision 2030 higher education goals through participation in J-WEL. KAU expects to work with the J-WEL team to restructure the curriculum, starting with the foundation year, to incorporate innovation training and better address the needs of industry. KAU also hopes to develop a School of Education to support teacher education in Saudi Arabia.

Prof. Dr. Abdulmonem Al-Hayani, KAU’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, congratulated the university for this step on the path to developing and further modernizing the educational environment, in collaboration with leading international organizations. He said that the move is in line with Saudi Arabia’s strategic directions and comes to support the country’s plans and programs. "It is part of our efforts to maintain our gains in local and international rankings. Saudi Arabia is witnessing educational and scientific development under the wise leadership and with unlimited support to education sectors in the country,” he concluded.

Through J-WEL membership, KAU joins a community of 25 other schools, universities, non-profits, government agencies and companies addressing the world’s most pressing education challenges and exploring opportunities presented by new educational technologies, effective practices, and emerging scientific understandings of learning. Other members of the Higher Education Collaborative include University of Sharjah (UAE), University of São Paulo (Brazil), and Seikei University (Japan).

Besides J-WEL, other major collaborations between MIT and Community Jameel included the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), established in 2003, which seeks answers to poverty in a changing world; the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS), created in 2014, which addresses food and water scarcity and safety issues as the result of population rises and climate change; and the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (J-Clinic), founded in 2018, which focuses on developing machine learning technologies to revolutionize the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease.


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