CULTIVATING STUDENTS OF THE FUTURE

Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

DAU is considered a leader and trendsetter in the higher education landscape of the Kingdom.

Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Tuwaijri
BIOGRAPHY
Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Tuwaijri is the owner of Dar Al Uloom University, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

How do you fit into the higher education landscape of Saudi Arabia?

DAU has been following a strategic direction to position itself at the cutting edge of higher education in the region, and this was largely through attaining the accreditation of the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) in 2017. Achieving accreditation was the culmination of years of hard work and development. DAU has invested heavily in recruiting and retaining high-value faculty who are considered leaders in their fields. This high caliber of faculty allows for groundbreaking research in our colleges. The combination of our faculty members and their research facilitates DAU's partnerships with local and international giants of education and industry to come together and continually ensure DAU provides sustained and valuable services to the local community. DAU is proud to be considered a leader and trendsetter in the higher education landscape of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Your curriculum is developed in consultation with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Management (KFUPM). How has this collaboration developed, and what is the impact on students?

KFUPM is one of our distinguished partners, and we are proud of our mutually beneficial relationship. In recent years, there has been universal acceptance amongst leading universities that teaching soft skills and critical thinking is of paramount importance and needs to be a core component of a student's learning experience. DAU ensures that core soft skills, such as citizenship, innovation, and the development personal values, are clearly embedded into curricula to ensure DAU graduates have the highest value in the market and are fully capable of meeting the demands of the 21st century society and Vision 2030.

How do you strive to align graduate employability with industry requirements and Vision 2030?

DAU relishes the heavy responsibility that Vision 2030 places on higher education. DAU graduates already enjoy tremendous rates of employability; however, the university is in a continuous process of aligning DAU graduates' skills with workplace requirements through a blend of strategic partnerships and learning communities. DAU strives to fill the gap in the market by constantly developing and creating solutions to market challenges and producing the graduates needed to meet the goal of Saudization and Vision 2030. DAU's consultations with the business world allow direct input from industry on curricula content and projects, and a significant budget is allocated for serving the community through research. For example, in recent years, DAU responded to the market and now operates two new colleges: the state-of-the-art College of Medicine and College of Dentistry. Vision 2030 demands the highest standards from DAU, and we ensure these standards through successfully achieving external validation through accreditation by bodies such as the NCAAA and, for its college of law, the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education. Furthermore, DAU encourages students to actively participate in learning communities to promote personal development before they graduate. This blend of external and internal strategies makes DAU optimistic in regard to achieving the objectives of Vision 2030.

What role does research play in your university, and what are your primary focus areas?

Vision 2030 will ensure the Kingdom is a knowledge-based society, and DAU is playing a critical role in this regard. DAU has invested heavily in upgrading the education and skills of its students to enhance the Kingdom's human capital. DAU has always been committed to serving the community and regularly participates in training programs, debate competitions, and other community service programs. Furthermore, DAU also views its partnerships with industry essential to building a knowledge-based community. DAU's dynamic partnerships ensure industry help develop curricula to prepare DAU students for swift employment, and DAU's faculty cultivate student's skills and capabilities through its cutting-edge educational instruction and programs.