Algonquin College plans to operate an English-language campus in Saudi Arabia starting this September.
The Ottawa-based postsecondary institution will operate the satellite campus in Jazan, a coastal city in the country’s southwest region, as part of a public-private partnership with Saudi Arabia's Technical and Vocational Training Corp.
Previously, Algonquin provided curriculum and faculty to a government-run facility at the same campus, which was then called the Jazan Economic City Polytechnic.
“This new partnership will rename the existing campus the Algonquin Jazan College of Excellence,” Algonquin stated, “and see Algonquin manage all campus operations including staff and student recruitment, program development and delivery, quality assessment, college services, and facilities maintenance.”
TVTC directed that the campus will be male-only; Algonquin was unsuccessful in winning a separate bid for a female-only campus.
If filled to capacity, the satellite campus in Jazan, Saudi Arabia is expected to host 2,000 students and bring in annual revenues of more than $25 million. Profits will be used for “college services and infrastructure,” Algonquin stated.
“In addition to being a revenue generator for the college at a time of reduced funding, this new campus will provide more international connections for Algonquin College faculty, staff and students,” the college added.
Algonquin expects to offer 10 programs in areas ranging from business, to construction engineering, to technician positions in fields such as facilities and architecture.
The Ottawa college is one of five international institutions selected by the Saudi Arabian government to manage 10 colleges.
According to Algonquin, the government is spending $1 billion (four billion Saudi riyals) in “a new polytechnic education model” that includes “hands-on, applied education.”
The pilot program is expected to attract 110,000 students and could be expanded to 450,000 if successful.
Algonquin also has campuses in China, India and Montenegro and plans to open one in Kuwait in 2014.