Saudi Arabia has opened its door to foreign campuses by planning to set up the first postgraduate research institute offering foreign-accredited degrees.
The institute will also become only the second mixed-gender university after King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (Sagia) has signed a letter of intent with US-based Georgia Institute of Technology to build a Saudi campus to be ready for opening next year, according to press reports.
Grant Rogan, chief executive of Blenheim Capital, a consultant to Sagia, said: "The establishment of a world-class leader in advanced education such as Georgia Tech in Saudi Arabia is significant in the creation of centres of excellence within the Kingdom and the region as a whole."
Located in King Abdullah Economic City - a residential and industrial hub being built north of Jeddah on the Red Sea - the new campus will focus on supporting an industrial base in the Economic City, particularly the aerospace, electronic and engineering industries.
Georgia Tech will manage the academic standards programme for Saudi students or students from elsewhere in the region who will be able to choose to take courses in other Georgia Tech campuses in the US, Europe and the Far East.
King Abdullah Economic City will have an Educational Zone, which is a part of plan to make Saudi Arabia globally competitive in technology. The zone will consist of a multi-university campus flanked by two research and development parks. The multi-university campus will accommodate 18,000 students and 7,500 members of staff.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked 27th among the top 200 universities in the latest Times Higher Education world rankings, and is consistently ranked in US News & World Report's top 10 public universities in the United States.
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