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Developing the Kingdom's talent

James Calvin, vice president for Academic Affairs, speaks at the National Academic Talent Development Program (NATDP) forum. Photo by Asharaf Abdulrahman.

​-By Lulwah Shalhoub, KAUST News

KAUST recently organized the third edition of its annual National Academic Talent Development Program aimed at attracting Saudi university lecturers who might be interested in pursuing postgraduate study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The forum hosted about 200 participants from 20 Saudi Arabian educational institutions from both the public and private sectors.

It kicked off with an opening speech by Dr. Brian Moran, dean of Graduate Affairs at KAUST, who spoke about the University's contribution to talent development in the Kingdom, stressing that the University's research is in line with the Kingdom's objectives to diversify its economic resources.

Brian Moran, dean of Graduate Affairs, speaks at the National Academic Talent Development Program (NATDP) forum. Photo by Asharaf Abdulrahman.

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"KAUST research in food, water, environment and energy is in line with the strategic direction of the Kingdom. We encourage overlap between the departments and disciplines offered by the University in science and technology," Moran said.

"We will continue investing in national talent of all ages and stages through several initiatives organized and hosted on campus," Moran added.

The achievements of KAUST graduates were reviewed and followed by a panel discussion on the importance of research in moving the wheel of success and development with Professor Carlos Duarte, Associate Professor Ibrahim Hoteit and Assistant Professor Deanna Lacoste.

Collaboration in research between various scientific departments at KAUST and external cooperation between universities—as well as cooperation at the level of the local and international industrial sector—was underlined during the event.

"Our students are not only aware of the advanced technologies currently available but also of the next-generation technologies," said Hoteit. "Through the KAUST collaboration with the best experts in multiple fields, communication with the community becomes more effective."

KAUST hosted over 200 participants from 20 Saudi educational institutions at its annual National Academic Talent Development Program. Photo by Asharaf Abdulrahman.

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Each year, Saudi universities sponsoring the program are invited to the KAUST campus to meet students, learn about the latest developments in the forum and discuss the common objectives of promoting the knowledge economy of the Kingdom, which contributes strongly to the success of the program and its ability to achieve the desired effect.

The NATDP brings out the next generation of Saudi academics who will play a vital role in the development of higher education in the Kingdom as a sustainable resource for the country's promising national minds.


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