THE FUTURE FOR EDUCATION

Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Dr. Rashad Al Kashgari, Dean of Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, on the education sector.

Dr. Rashad Al Kashgari
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Rashad Al Kashgari is Dean of Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies. He graduated from King Saud College of Medicine among the first class and has a professional qualification of fellowship from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Glasgow. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery, a founding member of the Council of Saudi Board of Surgery, Founder President of the Saudi Society of General Surgery, and Founder Dean of Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies.

Will the government's Vision 2030 privatization goals impact the medical college's operations?

This is an important step for the coming decade because under Vision 2030 the aim is to engage the private sector more in education and healthcare provision. The Ministry of Education is taking steps now to scrutinize the criteria to improve higher education here while at the same time engaging the private sector as much as possible to privatize various activities like hospitals. This will create a great deal of competition between institutions and force them to keep up with the highest standards and prove themselves. In the end, only the best providers will be able to continue in the education and health sectors. We are the first private medical school accredited by the NCAAA both for our institution and our programs. This is an important step by the government because it seeks to create an accreditation body that is independent of the Ministry of Education. This approach is the future for education in Saudi Arabia in terms of training the healthcare providers.

What are some of your goals and expectations for Ibn Sina in 2018?

In line with Vision 2030, our next target is to participate in post-graduate medical education. Currently, we only award bachelor's degrees, but are now developing master's programs. We also want to meet the benchmark of international schools and have partnerships with other medical colleges abroad. In addition to looking for post-graduate opportunities for our graduates abroad, we are also improving our tools for e-learning. Another important aspect is the use of simulation to augment our medical training.