King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Announces Academic Excellence Alliance Partnership with Stanford University

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Partnership between KAUST and Stanford will help establish academic curriculum, nominate founding faculty and establish collaborative research direction for the new international university.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Stanford University today announced their partnership in the Academic Excellence Alliance (AEA), designed to establish joint research, collaborate in the design of the academic curriculum, and identify and nominate the founding faculty in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science for the new University.

KAUST is a new international, graduate-level research university opening in Saudi Arabia in 2009. The innovative new approach to institutional partnership and faculty nomination will enable KAUST to build its academic foundation during the University's first several years of operation, and it will expand Stanford's capacity to carry out basic research and develop innovations that can benefit the people and economy of California.

KAUST's President-designate Professor Choon Fong Shih said, "Stanford has a sterling reputation for world-class research and academic development. Partnering with Stanford will help to establish a strong relationship between KAUST and similar departments and institutions around the world, further highlighting the many benefits we have to offer our students and faculty."

"I have been one of the key persons to negotiate this agreement and I am very enthusiastic about it," said Jean-Claude Latombe, the Kumagai Professor in the School of Engineering. "I think KAUST is a visionary project."

KAUST will partner with Stanford to:

  •     Collaborate in the nomination of the initial group of KAUST faculty
  •     Jointly organize the graduate course curriculum and monitor performance
  •     Create and conduct joint research projects at Stanford and at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in setting the requirements for the M.E., M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in joint thesis advisory committees for Ph.D. candidates at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in joint programs to host visiting fellows, conduct seminars, and participate in technical symposia

"KAUST's decision to enter into an academic alliance with the applied mathematics and computational science department at Stanford is based on its preeminent global reputation, built on the longtime scientific achievements of its faculty," said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, KAUST's Interim President. "Stanford will provide KAUST not only with the practical tools to build the new University's intellectual capital, but is also a model of the sort of research university KAUST aspires to be."
By spring 2008, the AEA partners will have specified the KAUST core curriculum at a high level for prospective students and begun identifying the first group of KAUST founding faculty to deliver this curriculum to the entering class in September 2009.


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is being built in Saudi Arabia as an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom, the region and around the globe. As an independent, merit-based institution, KAUST will employ many of the best practices from leading research universities and enable top researchers from around the globe and across all cultures to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological issues. The KAUST global research and education network will support diverse talents, both on its campus and at other premier universities and research institutions, through collaborative research agreements, grants, and student scholarship programs. KAUST will be merit-based, open to men and women from all cultures around the world, and governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The core campus, located on more than 36 million square meters on the Red Sea at Thuwal, is set to open in September 2009. For more information about KAUST, visit


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Abdullah Al-Maghlooth

Jeff Weintraub
KAUST United States
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