Moulton College has announced a major international expansion with the opening of three further education colleges in Saudi Arabia.
Moulton College and Activate Learning, previously Oxford & Cherwell Valley College Group, are working in partnership with GEMS Education Solutions to open the women-only colleges in September.
The consortium, operating as The Oxford Partnership, is one of four British bids chosen by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its Colleges of Excellence project.
Now in its second phase, the project represents a significant investment in technical and vocational education and training in Saudi Arabia. The first wave of 10 colleges opened in September 2013, with a further 26 due to open in September 2014.
Stephen Davies, principal of Moulton College said: “The colleges represent a significant investment in the training and development of women in Saudi Arabia, empowering them to develop the technical skills and qualifications required for successful futures. This project will see Moulton College helping to train Saudi Arabian women in important agricultural practices.”
“We are also excited about the benefits this will bring for our UK-based students, both in terms of expanding our global reach and generating additional revenue which can be re-invested in teaching and learning facilities.”
The Oxford Partnership will manage a cluster of three colleges in the north of the country, in the towns of Sakaka, Arar and Qurayyat. New, purpose-built facilities provided by the Saudi government, will cater for up to 500 students per college in the first year, rising to 2,000 per college within five years.
Students will focus on English language training in the first year, before specialising in vocational areas including healthcare, business, IT and finance, hair and beauty, fashion design, and agriculture. Subject areas have been chosen by the government to support growing employment needs in distinct parts of the country.
The Oxford Partnership will work together to develop the colleges’ curriculum and management building on GEMS Education Solutions experience of delivering education in Saudi Arabia. Moulton College will provide particular expertise in the agricultural programmes.
Moulton College has been providing agricultural training since 1921 and has a wealth of experience to share. Whilst the college has now diversified to offer a wider range of land based training, as well as construction and sports studies, agricultural training is still an important part of our delivery.