Taif University, one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s fastest growing universities, has started an extensive programme of work with the UK-based Higher Education Academy (HEA). The programme is to support the University’s teaching strategy and staff development.
A contract formally confirming the partnership was signed this week at a meeting of the President, Dr.Hussam Ben Abdulwahab Zaman, Vice-Presidents and Deans of faculty and Dr. Mark Jones, the HEA’s Chief Operating Officer. The contract was signed by Dr. Turki Saleem Al-Thubaity, Taif University’s Vice President for Planning and by Dr Jones.
The HEA has already started to support a major initiative of curricular reform, working alongside Taif University staff to build curricular design skills and to mentor faculty committees.
From the new academic year, the HEA will work with staff at the University in a three-year programme to develop institutional capacity and expertise in teaching through the HEA’s Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
This programme is aligned to the Professional Standards Framework. Staff at the University who successfully complete the course will be well placed to apply to join the HEA’s 90,0000-strong global community of practice as HEA Fellows. In the second and third year of delivery, Taif staff from the first-year cohort will work alongside the HEA to mentor colleagues and help to deliver the certificate programme.
Dr Eidah Al Malki, Dean of University Development, who has been working closely with the HEA to agree the programme, said, ” We have extremely ambitious development plans at the University. It’s critical to underpin that growth with robust teaching strategies and to give our teaching staff the tools and the environment to continuously develop their teaching practice.
“Working with the HEA means that we can take an institution-wide approach to realising our ambitions in teaching, whilst at the same building capacity and rewarding the efforts of our individual staff through HEA Fellowship.
“To date, we have been delighted with the work we have done with the HEA and we are looking forward to developing that relationship in the years to come.”
Speaking for the HEA, Dr Jones said, “We are very pleased to be working with the leadership team and teaching staff at Taif University. Their vision, ambition and commitment to teaching are impressive and I’m confident that we can support them through our exclusive focus on teaching excellence.”
Taif University started a huge programme of development following a land grant of about 17,000,000 square meters for its new its university city including college buildings, university hospital and ancillary facilities with an estimated cost of 480.000.000SAR (approximately £99m).