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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The futuristic Saudi city of NEOM has announced plans to establish a world-class education, research and innovation sector, following last year’s appointment of Andreas Cangellaris as the founding president of NEOM U, its flagship university.
The sector will comprise four pillars — NEOM U, the Education, Research and Innovation Foundation, the Talent Academy and several schools — designed to provide a complete learning ecosystem for all ages.
The Talent Academy, for example, will support ongoing professional development by providing upskilling and career-long learning opportunities designed in collaboration with NEOM’s array of sectors.
NEOM’s academic programs and research and innovation activities will focus on societal challenges, built on its strategic priorities, to drive strong engagement with global partners across new and varied industries.
The ERI Foundation’s Applied Research Institute program, initiated via the new NEOM Green Hydrogen and e-Fuels ARI and the NEOM-KAUST Ocean Science and Solutions ARI, is a key first element of this action.
NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said: “Education is the foundation of every society. It is only right that a community such as NEOM, which envisions nothing less than a new future for the world, should have in place an education system fit to meet the needs of tomorrow.
“The establishment of the new ERI sector at NEOM is a crucial step forward in helping us meet our goals, the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, and the global challenges of the coming years.”
Cangellaris said: “Education is the cornerstone of progress. In support of NEOM’s vision, we are currently building cutting-edge facilities, academic programs and research initiatives to help achieve our goals. NEOM’s distinct role allows it to embrace the latest educational theories and technological innovations to shape the future of learning.
“We look forward to working with leaders across industries on designing this interconnected hub on an intellectual foundation of critical thinking, in turn driving progress on a global scale.”
The curricula deployed across NEOM’s ERI pillars will prepare a digitally fluent workforce, equipping students with real-life skill sets and critical thinking capabilities.
Next-generation technology, inquiry and experiential-based learning and digital tools such as VR simulation training will be integrated across all age groups and education provisions.
Leveraging NEOM’s unique “living laboratory” environment, NEOM U graduates will develop the skills to design innovative solutions through experiential learning.
Students will be able to access the Talent Academy’s online programs from next year, while NEOM U plans to offer its first classes online in 2025.
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