Swansea University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the largest women's university in the world to deliver a joint programme that will empower young Saudi female scholars within the energy sector.
The programme, Master of Science (MSc) in Energy Innovation, is a collaboration between the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
Aligned to Saudi Vision 2030 - a strategic framework to create a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation – the degree will provide students with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the innovation, development and sustainability of clean energy.
Crucially, it will encourage women to share their diverse perspectives and innovative ideas by taking on leadership roles, breaking down gender biases in the energy sector.
Classroom teaching will have a blended delivery, both remote and in person at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. Students will also have the unique opportunity to complete a research project at Swansea University, with industry partners, or employers.
Swansea University Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Lamie signed the MoU alongside Dr Inas bint Suleiman Al-Issa, Director of Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia as part of a high-profile delegation.
Led by Professor Sir Steve Smith, the Prime Minister's Special Representative for Education, the delegation included representatives from the Department for International Trade, the Department for Education and six UK universities.
Professor Lamie, Pro Vice-Chancellor for International Engagement, said: "Swansea University has a long-standing partnership with Saudi Arabia, which we are delighted to be developing further with a new master's programme.
"Better representation is essential for creating solutions to real-life problems, and the MSc Energy Innovation programme will not only contribute to the national vision of Saudi Arabia, but also inspire its female scholars to become leaders in the sector."
The agreement was signed at the International Conference and Exhibition for Education (ICEE), one of the largest education fairs in the middle east.
Organised by the Saudi Ministry of Education, the ICEE provides a platform for showcasing new education trends and developments.
Swansea University participated in the four-day event, where colleagues met with potential students and Saudi partners.
The team also had the honour of being visited by Professor Amal Fatani, Saudi Arabia's Cultural Attaché to the UK.
Mohammed Hadia, Swansea University Regional Head for Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, said: "Saudi Arabia has always been an important partner of Swansea University in the Gulf and the wider Middle Eastern region.
"We truly appreciate the trust our Saudi partners have given us to prepare their students to work on developing and complementing the Kingdom's national vision 2030."