AUSTIN, Texas — A University of Texas at Austin consortium is showcasing new teacher training and executive education programs at the 2013 International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Leaders from the university’s Global Initiative for Education and Leadership (GI) are promoting the consortium’s teacher training, executive education and English as a second language programs among other services and consulting at the April 16-19 exhibition, one of the world’s largest annual events dedicated to higher education.
“The programs and services offered by the Global Initiative enable UT to expand its work with universities and organizations in the region,” says Richard Flores, director of GI and senior associate dean of academic affairs for the College of Liberal Arts, who is leading the GI delegation. “This is a unique opportunity for UT to have a positive impact by utilizing our capacities and expertise as well as networking with educators from the region and around the globe.”
In addition to exhibiting at IECHE, GI members will conduct training sessions and workshops in Riyadh on topics including leading-edge teacher training concepts and educational and professional development sessions geared toward the needs of young women in the region. GI will also sign a memorandum of understanding with Imam University that will pave the way for The University of Texas at Austin to provide “fast track” ESL and educational development services to students from Imam University beginning in the spring of 2014.
GI leaders will also be meeting with representatives from several educational institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), corporations and government entities to explore other possible projects and cooperation.
“Whether you’re talking about the establishment of new institutions, numbers of students enrolled or educational spending, the Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for higher education,” says Anjum Malik, managing director of the Alhambra-US Chamber of Commerce, an Austin-based NGO that is part of GI. “Regional universities are hungry to partner with foreign universities, especially American ones, to benefit from their skills and experience.”
GI’s participation in IECHE 2013 is part of a broader educational mission to the Middle East that will take the delegation to Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.