King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Symposium: 'The Role of the Research University in the 21st Century'

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The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Symposium brought together some of the world's most influential scholars from Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, University of California, Cornell University and others.

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This symposium is an example of how KAUST will play a critical role of convening the best minds from around the world and of collaborating with other leading institutions to uncover new innovations and discoveries

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a new graduate-level research university in Saudi Arabia, hosted a special academic symposium this week to discuss "The Role of the Research University in the 21st Century." The symposium brought together some of the world's most influential scholars, including Paul Ching-Wu Chu, president, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Dr. Marye Anne Fox, chancellor, University of California, San Diego, and Dr. Frank H. T. Rhodes, president emeritus, Cornell University.

"This symposium is an example of how KAUST will play a critical role of convening the best minds from around the world and of collaborating with other leading institutions to uncover new innovations and discoveries," noted Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, interim provost of KAUST.

During the sessions, academics from around the world discussed the social and economic aspects of current research universities and the lessons that KAUST can learn from the experience of others. Several speakers applauded the vision of KAUST and its financial and academic independence.

In his keynote speech to the symposium, Dr. Charles M. Vest, president emeritus of MIT and president of the National Academy of Engineering, said, "KAUST has been founded to be a different kind of institution, to serve the purposes of the emerging knowledge age in the Kingdom, and indeed throughout our interconnected and interdependent world. This is a noble and far-sighted undertaking."

With a multi-billion dollar endowment, one of the largest of any university in the world, a program to recruit top-flight faculty and students from across the globe and collaborations already underway with prestigious research institutions across several continents, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is positioned to become a leading center of scientific discovery and human advancement within the Kingdom, across the region and around the globe. Construction of the facility on the shores of the Red Sea has begun, and the University is expected to open for operation in September 2009.

The following people spoke at the Symposium:

Morning Panel Discussion: Historical & Social Aspects of the Research University Panelists (*denotes member of KAUST International Advisory Committee):

  • Frank H. T. Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University - Moderator
  • Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor, University of California, San Diego*
  • Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President, Technische Universitat Munchen
  • Khalid Al-Sultan, Rector, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals*            
  • Paul Ching-Wu Chu, President, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
  • John Hegarty, Provost, Trinity College, Dublin

Afternoon Panel Discussion: Scientific, Economic & Industrial Aspects
Panelists (*denotes member of KAUST International Advisory Committee):

  • Fawwaz T. Ulaby, former Vice President of Research, University of Michigan - Moderator
  • Karen Holbrook, President, The Ohio State University*
  • Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, President, King Abdulaziz City for Science And Technology
  • Olivier Appert, Chairman and CEO, Institut Français du Pétrole *
  • Robert Brown, President, Boston University

For more information about KAUST, visit http://www.kaust.edu.sa.

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