KAUST Social Responsibility  

Virtual college visit gives students insight into course and career choices

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 Helping Saudi students plan their higher education and be part of Vision 2030 goals


High school students from Jeddah and Thuwal joined students from The KAUST School online for a virtual visit with the Swiss Educational Group, a leading provider of courses and degrees in hospitality management and culinary skills.  Social Responsibility worked with local schools, students and their families to introduce SEG, explain the concept of the virtual visit and assess interest, prepare Q&A and then facilitated registration for the invitation-only online event.


Vision 2030 opens up a wide range of career opportunities for Saudi Arabia, with the tourism sector alone projected to generate one million jobs*.  Although KAUST is a university of science and technology, KAUST Social Responsibility exists to inform, prepare and equip its beneficiaries with the skills needed to match the needs of the country; the department is committed to contributing to the Kingdom’s Sustainable Development Goals with each program and initiative.  Enabling students to access information on relevant higher education opportunities is part of ensuring quality education and encouraging a thriving employment sector with and economic growth.


The department was therefore delighted to be able to involve students from its Young Learners Development Program (YLDP).  The YLDP aims to help Elementary to High School students to reach their full potential by developing skills in English, STEM, digital literacy, soft skills, and environmental awareness.  The Program expands at High School level to anticipate the transition to higher education for targeted students by building awareness of potential courses through university fairs, and supporting the preparation for higher education with interview and CV building practice sessions, ESL classes, university aptitude test training, as well as working with their schools to add other customized activities based on assessment of need.


The Swiss Education Group is a world-leading provider of hospitality management and culinary arts training across six campuses in Switzerland.  The virtual visit, led by Zeina Kusaibati of SEG Middle East, was dynamic, visually interesting and highly responsive.  Alternating between Arabic and English, Zeina opened with the challenge of “change[ing] attendees’ preconceived ideas of hospitality”.  From the overview of each college, to detailing all aspects of the extensive courses, diplomas, Bachelors and Masters available, the visit illuminated the myriad career branches that the training can lead to including hotel management, event management, culinary skills, hotel design and  entrepreneur skills.  For those that thought hospitality is entirely customer facing, the presentation detailed the range of ‘behind the scenes’ roles including human resources, marketing, and business management through to restaurant design.  The breadth of careers available under umbrella of ‘hospitality’ is vast, and training in this sector is an ideal route to gaining employment in an integral part of the exciting future of Saudi Arabia.


Course admission requirements and funding was detailed in the thorough question and answer session at the end.  The students were advised that The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Overseas Scholarship Program supports training for selected Saudi students on a growing number of courses and interested potential students are invited to contact SEG for more information – a link to the Overseas Scholarship Program and the Swiss Education Group website are detailed below.


A virtual visit cannot accommodate the usual numbers of a physical fair so Social Responsibility extends its thanks to Swiss Educational Group and The KAUST School for enabling YLDP students to attend such an informative event and look forward to participating in future fairs.

* Saudi Tourism Authority

Part of the Young Learners' Development Program - read the Program Overview here

Further information:

Click here for the website of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Overseas’ Scholarship Program

Click here for the Swiss Education Group website

Click here for the Vision 2030 website

Click here for information on Saudi Arabia’s Sustainable Development Goals

UN Sustainable Development Goal #4  UN Sustainability Development Goal #5  UN Sustainability Development Goal #8

KAUST Social Responsibility is dedicated to enriching lives sustainably by pushing boundaries to set new standards; to utilize our intellectual and social capital to deliver educational, cultural and professional programs across the Kingdom, nurturing strong community relationships and collaboration.

November 11, 2020

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