A delegation from the King Saud University (KSU) in Saudi Arabia made a historical visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) – the first research and teaching institution focusing on governance and public policy in the Arab world – reflecting the robust relationship that brings the two countries together.
Headed by H.E. Dr Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, President of King Saud University, the visit sought to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions to enhance joint cooperation in the academic sector, facilitating the exchange of expertise, supporting scientific research, and upgrading government performance across all economic and service sectors in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and subsequently, the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
MBRSG’s Executive President His Excellency Dr Ali Bin Sebaa Al Marri, accompanied by Prof. Raed Awamleh, Dean of MBRSG, and several of the School’s officials, greeted the KSU delegation, headed by H.E. Dr Al-Omar. Other visiting delegates included officials from the university, namely, H.E. Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Humizi, Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research; Dr Saad Abdullah Alghanim, Dean of the College of Business Administration; Dr Abdulaziz bin Abdul Mohsen bin Saad Al-Otaibi, Head of the Department of Public Administration at the College of Business Administration; Dr Bint Sultan Al-Shuhail, Advisor to the Director of Media Affairs; Dr Mazid bin Mashhour bin Muhammad Al-Turkawi, Supervisor of the International Cooperation and Scientific Twinning Department; and Prof. Khalid bin Mohammed bin Misfer Al-Qahtani, Secretary of the delegation.
Both parties took the meeting as an opportunity to explore ways to enhance academic collaboration, enrich curricula, share developments regarding joint scientific research to create a generation of researchers and academics that can implement the visions and directives of their respective governments. This would also help supply government entities and private companies with knowledgeable leaders, armed with up-to-date expertise and practices to support, and with qualified human resources capable of boosting their countries’ international competitiveness and affecting significant change in people’s lives.
“We are delighted to be welcoming the delegation from King Saud University, and we applaud them for the commitment they have shown for communication and partnership with our team at the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, reflecting the outstanding relations the UAE and Saudi Arabia share across all sectors,” said H.E. Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri. “King Saud University is one of the most prominent academic institutions in the region and the Arab world. With this partnership, we look forward to making notable progress in scientific research, and creating a research and academic database that can contribute to the comprehensive development of both our countries, and the GCC as a whole.”
“We, at MBRSG, are committed to establishing strong strategic partnerships and exchanging expertise and research with government entities and regional institutions. Our objective is to support our strategy and the projects falling under its umbrella, and our partnership with King Saud University is the fruit of this very approach,” H.E. Al Marri added. “We look forward to further collaboration with the university in the near future, to drive our common objectives in a journey that parallels that of our two sister countries.”
H.E. Al Marri noted that the agreement signed between the two parties will play a pivotal role in supporting joint cooperation aimed at upgrading scientific research processes and finding solutions to all challenges facing authorities and institutions operating in both countries. “This, in turn, will improve government and private-sector performance, supporting various industries and driving development that benefits our two peoples,” H.E. concluded.
For his part, H.E. Dr Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar said: “We are delighted to be forging a special partnership with a leading academic and public administration institution like MBRSG – a partnership that has the support of the leaders of both our countries.”
“I take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to the leaders of our two countries, whose support and guidance were the catalysts behind this agreement. This is an opportunity for us to exchange our expertise,” H.E. Dr Al-Omar added. “This will play an instrumental role in ensuring this partnership will be a long and fruitful one.”
Meanwhile, Dr Mazid Al-Turkawi, said: “I am happy to be here today to sign this agreement between our university and the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government in the UAE. I am confident that together, we will march towards the ambitious objectives that both our leaders aspire to achieve; we will work hand in hand to shape a better future for coming generations. I would also like to extend my gratitude to His Royal Highness the King of Saudi Arabia, HRH the Crown Prince, and our wise government for supporting this historic agreement. I also thank the leadership and government of the UAE for their backing this MoU.”
On the first day of the visit, MBRSG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King Saud University, with the objective of allowing both parties to better benefit from each other’s academic, educational, and research capacities. H.E. Al Marri signed the MoU on behalf of the School, while H.E. Dr Al-Omar represented KSU. The signing ceremony was attended by Prof. Raed Awamleh and members of MBRSG’s Board of Trustees, along with members of both the School and King Saud University.
The agreement covers various activities, including developing education in the fields of interest common for the two countries; organising visits for faculty members and researchers; exchanging academic expertise, publications, and information; setting up joint research projects; and organising scientific seminars, conferences, and training programmes; among various other activities.
On day two, the two organisations held a workshop to set plans and timelines to implement the MoU. Spanning two sessions, the workshop discussed the prospects of building a system for managing talent across the Arab and Islamic worlds, strengthening innovation and establishing an environment that stimulates diversifying the economy, and empowering the knowledge economy in local communities. The workshop also discussed mechanisms for exchanging professors between the two parties, especially for the Blockchain Masters programme.
Furthermore, the workshop explored ideas ranging from trainer exchange programmes, to designing leadership training programmes in vital issues, such as governments of the future and innovation in the two countries. The two sides also explored prospects of organising field visits to select institutions to exchange knowledge, as well as collaborating on joint submissions to proposals, and conducting joint public policy research – particularly in such sectors as the participatory, digital, and circular economics.