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British Council Newsletter Saudi Arabia

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  • 1. In this Editorial ............................................................................................... 1issue Global luminaries view future of education at London forum......................................................... 2 Saudi delegation visits British education show in London ................................................................................ 4InTouch Newsletter is New education collaboration under consideration ............ 5 compiled by Strong UK presence at education show.................................. 6 Andrew Mead at MMSL, Outstanding Cambridge students in Saudi Arabia to be honoured ...................................................... 8 UK Telephone: First Springboard Network Forum0044 7940 55 99 25 held in Riyadh ................................................................................. 10 KSA Telephone: Understanding heritage ............................................................. 12 00966 506 271 151 Inaugural ELT session held in Al-Khobar............................... 13 email: Saudi Changemaker calls on Gordon Brown ....................... 14 Andrew@sbtd.co.uk Jeddah-Birmingham community ............................................. 15 in co-operation with Visiting language expert gives teaching .............................. 16Jumana House, Riyadh Connecting Clasrooms ................................................................ 18 Tel: 01 292 0451 Fax: 01 472 6962 PDSR Programme 2010............................................................... 19 suresh@sbtd.co.uk New batch of Saudis set for UK ............................................... 19 Printed by Jeddah women’s centre..............................................................20 Star Printing Press, Saudi students briefed on undergraduateTel: 00966 1 241 2297 study in the UK ...............................................................................20 © Copyright of articles and photographs rests with the British Council Saudi Arabia.
  • 2. Editorial Dear Friends Welcome to the latest edition of In Touch. I have now been back in the Kingdom for five months, and am enjoying it enormously. I am very grateful to colleagues, friends and contacts for their friendship and the work we do together. In January we were delighted to join a senior Saudi delegation to the Learning & Technology World Forum in London, the largest educational meeting of its kind in the world, and the BETT education fair. The delegation was led by the Vice Minister of Education, HE Faisal Abdulrahman bin Muamar. The event was opened by the UK’s prime Minister, and attended by 70 ministers and more than 700 delegates – who between them are responsible for the education of 1 billion of the world’s children! We were also delighted to support the International Exhibition of Higher Education, organised for the first time, extremely professionally, by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education. 67 British universities took part, which was the largest of any country, and demonstrates once again the strength of educational ties between our two countries, as well as the UK universities commitment to even closer cooperation. In March we launched a new project, Global Xchange. We run this project with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) which has 50 years experience managing volunteering around the world. In Saudi Arabia we are delighted to be launching the project in partnership with Al-Majid Society in Jeddah. The project will share the UK’s experience and policy for managing volunteering at a national level, and support an exchange of community practitioners. Later in the year young male volunteers from each country will exchange visits to work on volunteer projects. This exchange will help build understanding between our two kingdoms, and, importantly, give young British people a chance to learn more about Saudi Arabia and share these positive impressions and experiences in their communities. I look forward to seeing many of you at these and other events. With best wishes Adrian Chadwick Spring 1 2010
  • 3. Gordon Brown Global luminaries view future of education at London forum Prominent ministers, policymakers and influencers in the education and skills sector gathered in London on 11 January for the official opening of the three-day Learning and Technology World Forum 2010 (www.latwf.org), the largest international event on the use of technology in education.intouch issue 01 2
  • 4. The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown,described the Forum as “an invaluableopportunity for countries to learn fromone another; I am proud that the UKnurtures and attracts so many learnerswho benefit from the expertise of ourteachers and lecturers.”This year, the forum’s overarching themewas ‘re-imagining education’, coveringthree major international concerns:enabling regeneration and economicrecovery, striving for excellence, andpreparing for the future.Sessions focused on a range of topics,including eradicating social exclusion; Faisal bin Muammar, Deputy Minister ofusing education to stimulate economic Education, headed the Saudi delegationgrowth, the future of children’s and said, “This forum comes in theonline safety, and transforming lives context of major advances in the usein disadvantaged communities. The of IT in international education. Wedelegation went on to visit a ‘Future seek to benefit from it for our ambitiousSchool’ in Gravesend to look at modern development projects. We also had theapproaches to teaching and the learning opportunity to discuss the future directionenvironment. of our education reform programme.” HE Faisal bin Muaamar (left), Vice Minister of Education and Dr. Ali Al-Hakami, TATWEER General Manager Spring 3 2010
  • 5. Saudi delegation at the BETT Show and LATWF forum. Saudi delegation visits British education show in London Six men and two women from the Saudi Ministry of Education and the King Abdullah Project for the Development of Public Education (Tatweer) attended the week-long British Education and Training Technology (BETT) exhibition in London recently. To complement the BETT Show, the Ali Al-Dossari. British Council has for the last four years organised study tours for Saudi partners. “We are in the phase of enhancing the use This year’s delegation was delighted to of ICT in our schools in Saudi Arabia and be involved in the event and found the therefore found this a good opportunity experience quite inspiring. “It is wonderful to observe the UK practice and products,” to see such a broad range of exciting new said Najyah Al-Thubyani, an ICT expert products, resources and seminars,” said from the Tatweer project.intouch issue 01 4
  • 6. From right: Dr Mohammed Al Hamed, Dr Abdulhalim Mazi, Professor Gunther Kress, Dr Raphael Wilkins and Mr. Chris Price.New education collaborationunder considerationThe Institute of Education, University of academic staff exchanges and leadershipLondon (IOE), and the Centre for Higher in education programmes. It was decidedEducation Research and Studies (CHERS) that academics from both institutionsare considering the possibilities of would meet and explore joint researchcollaboration in the field of education. opportunities.Officials from both institutions met Speaking after the meeting, Christopherin Riyadh on January 30 to discuss Price, International Relations Managerestablishing academic links between at IOE, said, “We are left very optimisticCHERS and IOE. that a sound basis for collaboration existsThey discussed research cooperation, between the IOE and CHERS.” Spring 5 2010
  • 7. Strong UK presence at education show UK educational institutions formed the largest contingent at the first International Exhibition for Higher Education hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education, under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, at the Riyadh International Exhibition Centre in January. The largest of its kind in Saudi Arabia, the exhibition proved a big success in terms of number of participants and visitors – over 250,000, accordingintouch issue 01 6
  • 8. to Othman Al-Thabit, vice-chairman of the academic and research cooperation.exhibition committee. Allen Swales, International Officer atThe British Council organised a seminar Cambridge University, congratulatedand networking session, bringing together the Ministry of Higher Education for12 new Saudi universities and 28 UK successfully organising such a large event:universities. The two groups identified “I think it was a wonderful exhibition, thepoints of contact and discussed future best educational event I have attended inlinks, joint supervision programmes and Saudi Arabia.” Spring 7 2010
  • 9. Outstanding Cambridge students in Saudi Arabia honoured Seated from left: Mr. William Bickerdike, Regional Manager Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, University of Cambridge International Examinations, Dr. Samir AlUmran, Director of Girls’ Education in Eastern Province, KSA, Mr. Kashif Chauhan, Deputy Regional Exams Manager, British Council and Mr. Wissam Al Hassanieh, Development Manager, Cambridge International Examinations. Behind are the high achiever students and British Council staff in Eastern Province University of Cambridge International Top in the World award. The results in the Examinations (CIE), in partnership with June 2009 examinations are proof that the British Council, recently hosted the quality education and an international Cambridge Outstanding Achiever Awards perspective, such as the one Cambridge 2010 in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam provides in its teaching, have motivated to celebrate the impressive academic the talent that exists in Saudi Arabia.” achievements of secondary school Head teachers from the schools attended students in the Kingdom. a Principals’ Forum after the awards. CIE Regional Manager for the Middle Mr Bickerdike presented an overview of East, North Africa and Pakistan, William the Cambridge International Curriculum, Bickerdike, said: “As the awards indicate, including Cambridge IGCSE and the new performance in Saudi Arabia this year has suite of syllabuses. Participants also heard been particularly strong, with over 20 about a range of CIE activities and the students ranked in the global top five, and extensive support available to teachers in eight students winning CIE’s prestigious Saudi Arabia.intouch issue 01 8
  • 10. Spring9 2010
  • 11. First Springboard Network Forum held in Riyadh 130 Springboard graduates, trainers, said, “Springboard is my spaceship to guest speakers, and women interested in conquer the world of self-development. It self-development programmes gathered empowers me with what I need to build my for the first Springboard Network Forum in personality.” Riyadh on January 4. The large gathering reflected the In an inspiring speech, Dr Hessah enthusiasm and commitment of Alsheikh, Dean of the women’s college Springboard graduates towards the at Al-Yamamah University, discussed the programme. Springboard now has a development of Saudi women and their strong network of members from various achievements in education. She praised backgrounds, and the forum participants the Springboard initiative, aimed at expressed their interest in joining building a world of integrated activities specialised networks that meet their and opportunities for Saudi women. needs in various fields such as education, Huda Balbeisi, a Springboard graduate, employment and health.intouch issue 01 10
  • 12. Spring11 2010
  • 13. Understanding heritage through photography More than 130 photographers and their Marcus Gilbert, British Council Director, families participated in a Social Treasure West Saudi Arabia. Hunt for Cultural Heritage that involved A Treasure Hunt was also held at the photographing historical sites in Jeddah National Museum in Riyadh over two days; and Riyadh. one for women and the other for men. The The event was held in partnership with Jeddah Municipality, Association of Arts and Culture Jeddah, Jeddah Shooters, the Association of Photographers and the British Council. Participants followed clues and took pictures around historical sites in Al- Balad, Jeddah’s old town. The entries were evaluated by a panel comprising renowned photographer Dr Esa Angawi; participants looked for clues in different Sami Nawar, Director of Tourism and departments representing different Culture for Jeddah Municipality; and periods in Saudi history. The judging panel included Dr Abdullah Al-Saud, Director of the National Museum, and Dr Delail Al- Qahtani, Director of the Women’s Section at the National Museum. One participant said, “This is an amazing activity. We worked closely together despite not knowing one another. It was a new way of using photography to learn about our heritage.”intouch issue 01 12
  • 14. Inaugural ELT session held in Al-Khobar A class in the English Language at the British Council Allied Centre, Liverpool, UK.The British Council hosted its inaugural assessment, the Connecting ClassroomsEnglish Language Teaching (ELT) Network project, and teaching children withmeeting in Al-Khobar recently. The aim communication disorders. The Britishof these meetings is to provide a chance Council introduced its range of onlinefor ELT professionals and organisations to resources, including www.teachingenglish.org.ukcome together to share their expertise and and www.learnenglish.org.uk. We aim toexperience. This first meeting was hosted raise participation among Saudi teachersby Jon Gore, Deputy Director of the British in local, regional and international ELTCouncil in Saudi Arabia, and MichaelManser, ELT Consultant. Participants conferences, and participants exploredincluded Dr Nabeel Samarkandi, Head the internet link to this year’s IATEFLof English at the Ministry of Education; presentations:William Harrison and Dr Mohammed http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2009/media/videoKhattab of Saad Schools; Ian Griffin of theBritish International School (BISAK); and Similar local networks are planned inPhilipp Fernald of the International House Riyadh, Jeddah and in the south of theEastern Province and SASREF. country, all of which will eventually beParticipants identified opportunities for linked to a national network. A programmepotential future co-operation in areas is also planned for professional ELTincluding teacher training, testing and women. Spring 13 2010
  • 15. Saudi Changemaker calls on Gordon Brown A young Global Changemaker from Saudi Arabia met British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street recently, to report on the outcome of the Global Youth Summit held in the UK at the end of 2009. Twenty-year-old Amnah Fakieh was one of 12 young people selected to meet Mr Brown, out of a group of sixty Global Changemakers from forty countries who had attended the 5-day summit to share to raise decision-makers’ awareness of best practice in social work. key issues on the global agenda. Global Changemakers is an international Six Global Changemakers were selected network where young people between 16 during the summit to attend the World and 25 share ideas and work on projects Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland in that directly impact the lives of people in January. They attended a number of high- their local communities. Each year, a select level panels, engaged with the world’s group of Global Changemakers is chosen most influential business and political to participate in high-profile political and leaders and lent a grass-roots perspective economic events, to act as advocates and to the Forum’s proceedings. Founded for the Annual Meeting of the WEF in Davos in 2007, Global Changemakers has since participated in the forum’s events in Davos, Sharm El-Sheikh and Cape Town, as well as the Global Humanitarian Forum, the World Climate Conference and the G20. Individual supporters include Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, former US President Bill Clinton, and actress Emma Thompson. Gordon Brown serves as its patron.intouch issue 01 14
  • 16. Jeddah-Birmingham communityexchange programme launchedA new international exchange programme since 2005, bringing together over 1000involving community practitioners in volunteers in communities throughout theJeddah and Birmingham was launched UK with volunteers in 25 other countries,recently. including Kenya, South Africa, Indonesia,Jointly initiated by the British Council Bahrain and Oman.and the Majid Society for Development Key programme components includeand Social Services, the Community training, job shadowing, skills sharing,Xchange (CX) identified 14 Saudi and 13 networking, community field trips andBritish participants. The Saudi volunteers living in local host homes. Participants alsotravelled to Birmingham in February and work together to set up an interculturalworked with their host community for community event, where the entirethree weeks. A return exchange, hosting community is invited to meet and sharethe British volunteers, will take place in their skills, experiences and stories.Jeddah. Community Xchange aims to build theCommunity Xchange is a component ofGlobal Xchange, and draws on the British skills of youth and community workersCouncil’s global expertise in cultural to be active global citizens in therelations, Voluntary Service Overseas’ development of their communities. We(VSO) skills in international volunteering hope to strengthen the volunteeringprogrammes and the Jeddah-based Majid sector in Saudi Arabia and encourageSociety’s knowledge of local community young people to take up volunteering andneeds. Global Xchange has been running community service opportunities. Spring 15 2010
  • 17. Visiting language expert gives teaching tips to ELT professionals The British Council organized a drawn from the pharmaceutical, telecom presentation on English teaching for a and oil and gas industries. group of ELT professionals in Riyadh on March 1. Moving on to “A five-point plan towards better business English teaching,” The presentation was made by Robert McLarty encouraged the participants to McLarty, Publishing Manager for Business try out a range of activities from recent English and ESP Courses, Oxford OUP publications which help students University Press (OUP), who was on a to experience interesting and useful visit to Saudi Arabia recently. Among language learning. The stress was on those who attended the presentation were professionals from King Saud using materials that are serious and University, Prince Sultan University, Saudi reflect the modern world. Development and Training Academy, The presentation was followed by a dinner and Technical and Vocational Training where participants interacted with McLarty Corporation. and shared their own experiences of being The two-part presentation began with an ELT professional in Saudi Arabia. a session titled, ESP Today. McLarty used practical, interactive methods to The event was the result of a successful demonstrate how to achieve a balance collaboration between the Skills for between content, language work and Employability and the English for communicative practices. Examples were Workplace project teams.intouch issue 01 16
  • 18. Spring17 2010
  • 19. Connecting Classrooms teachers brush up communication skills 70 teachers from Saudi Schools attended and concise emails using formal English; a series of ‘Effective Communication Skills’ How to write to someone that I don’t know; training programme between February Passing information as clearly as possible; and March 2010 in Jeddah, Dammam and Asking questions and seeking clarification; Riyadh. The programme was conducted and Writing and formatting an informative by Maureen Franks, an English adviser and document. consultant to the ‘English for the Future’ The highly collaborative Jeddah session project in Saudi Arabia. gave the participants ample opportunity to The purpose of the training was to practice the required skills, ask questions and share their experiences. The help the teachers gain confidence in communication tools used were specific communicating with their UK partner to meet the needs of stakeholders. schools. As most of the communication is carried out in English, the training covered The initiative is seen as a good example various topics to help develop writing of teacher-development using ‘English for skills. They included: How to write clear the Workplace’ skill sets. intouchintouch issue 01 18 issue 01 18
  • 20. BAE to continue support forresearch programme introduce Saudi university staff, many with US research experience, to research facilities and methods in the United Kingdom. The programme also increases their insight into the range and quality of British higher education. Unique to Saudi Arabia, the programme has been sponsored by BAe Systems Saudi Arabia since 1991. Over 400 academicsFrom left: NV Rajendran, Assistant Director Networks have undertaken research attachments in at the British Council, Monther Tayeb, Head of PR and Comms, BAE Systems, Adrian Chadwick, British the UK under the programme in the last Council Director, Jon Gore, Deputy Director British 19 years. This year, 26 researchers are Council and Jamal AlSahaf, PR and Comms Officer, BAE Systems taking part.BAe Systems Saudi Arabia has announced Speaking about her placement in 2009,that they will continue to support the Dr. Maisa Al-Korashy, Vice Dean of thePost-Doctoral Summer Research (PDSR) Mathematics Department at King SaudProgramme in 2010. University, commented, “The PDSRThe PDSR Programme, an academic Programme gave me the opportunity toresearch collaboration programme work and meet with qualified researchersdeveloped by the British Council, enables in top UK universities and learn at closeSaudi academics to work alongside hand how research teams work togethertheir UK counterparts. It is designed to to produce highly beneficial results.”New batch of Saudis set for UK studiesunder SABB scholarshipSABB has selected a new intake of five scheme supports five Saudis each year onSaudis for study in the UK under its finance or banking-related MBAs in the UK;Scholarship Scheme for 2010. since its inception in 1997, it has enabledThe Scholarship Scheme, funded by SABB 48 people to study in the UK. For moreand managed by the British Council, aims information on the programme, contactto increase the availability of post-graduate the British Council or visit our website:level education to Saudi nationals. The www.britishcouncil.org/me Spring Spring 19 2010 19 2010
  • 21. Jeddah women’s centre MOVES to new location The British Council has upgraded its maintaining real segregation for male women’s centre in Jeddah, bringing it and female students and creating extra onto the same floor as the men’s centre. classrooms by doing away with the Previously women’s operations took previous somewhat palatial reception place in a rather unsuitable building in a area. The end result is a new look, new different area of the city. Saudi architect classrooms and a wonderful new working Reda Sijiniy drew up the new floor plan, environment for our staff and customers. Saudi students briefed on undergraduate study in the UK 33 Saudi students interested in studying in quality assurance, choosing the right Britain attended a presentation by Diana institution, the Universities and Colleges Rayan, Promotion Advisor for Education Admissions Service (UCAS) application and Exams, at the British Council’s Jeddah process, scholarships, and visa office recently. information. The students came prepared with many questions of their own, asking The presentation highlighted the UK’s about accommodation options, living world-class education system, and the expenses and cultural diversity. 17- students were briefed on various subjects year-old Zahar Al-Gain said that “the including degree courses, admission presentation was very useful - it guided requirements, overseas qualifications, me on how to choose colleges in the UK.”intouch issue 01 20
  • 22. Spring21 2010