The Business Year

Prof. Badran A. Al-Omar

SAUDI ARABIA - Health & Education

Know It All

Rector, King Saud University (KSU)

Bio

Badran A. Al-Omar is the Rector of King Saud University (KSU) and a Professor of the College of Business Administration. He completed his BA at the KSU in 1984, after which he received a Graduate Diploma in Operational Research from Lancaster University, UK, and went on to do an MHHA in Health and Hospital Administration in 1990. Later, he attained his PhD in Health and Hospital Administration from Wales University in 1995. He became a lecturer of the Master’s Program in Hospital and Health Administration at KSU in 1990. He also served as a faculty member of the Quality Management Diploma Training Program, Ministry of Health, Riyadh from 1998 to 2000. In 1995, he became Assistant Professor at KSU. He was promoted to Professor in 2005.

How do you use partnerships to further prepare students for the job market? This is actually one of the main strategic objectives of King Saud University (KSU). One of university’s […]

How do you use partnerships to further prepare students for the job market?

This is actually one of the main strategic objectives of King Saud University (KSU). One of university’s main objectives is to build strong relationships with companies in the private sector. Our university has nine strategic objectives, one of which is to build bridges with private companies, whether they be local or international. Relationships with SABIC, Aramco, or any other major private company are important to KSU. We already have established strong relationships with several companies, including SABIC, which has a branch and operates on the university campus. SABIC provides opportunities for KSU’s students and staff to collaborate with its branch here at the university to conduct research and join in its daily work process. We have studied carefully to find the best universities worldwide and formed close relationships with them. KSU has agreements with the Imperial College in the UK, the University of Munich in Germany, and the University of Wuerzburg, among others. I recently returned from Canada, where KSU signed an agreement with McGill University and Toronto University. KSU also has two agreements with South Korean universities. All of these agreements are designed to facilitate the exchange of students and academics for joint research, in addition to giving our teaching assistants in the medical school the chance to spend part of their training residencies at these universities. KSU is keen to strengthen this new administration, and we are spending significant efforts and resources to facilitate these kinds of agreements. We look forward to achieving great results.

How are you advancing the goal of making KSU a hub for research in Saudi Arabia and increasing the number of papers published by your students and staff?

In addition to what has been made available from the government budget for supporting research, the government also allows KSU to generate its own income to support education and research. In this regard, the university has come up with multiple options to boost its research and publishing in terms of quality and quantity. KSU has, for example, created scientific chairs. Some of them are created and supported by wealthy people in the community. They want to promote research, meaning they grant money to endow a chair. The remaining chairs are supported by the university. Whenever KSU finds someone among our faculty who is especially bright and committed to research, we give them a chance to head the chair and support him or her with funding. Then, we evaluate their work, and according to the evaluation, KSU either continues funding them or shifts the funding to a new chair if the performance is not up to our standards. If it meets KSU’s standards, we try to market the chair that we sponsor to people from the community to participate and fund. KSU has also created international research groups where our academics and researchers try to form links with international research groups and find and propose topics of research and publish together. The university also created research centers in each college, whether it is in the humanities, science, or health, with an annual budget to support researchers. We have a collaboration project as well with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. It provides every university with the chance to apply for grants out of their budget. Every year, KSU gets about 50% of that budget. KSU has also created the King Saud University Awards for Scientific Excellence and this is the second year that we have awarded them.

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