NESCOT principle Sunaina Mann (C) signs deal
Riyadh - Arab Today
The Saudi government has signed a £75m ($116.1m) contract with a group of UK-based colleges and universities to run the kingdom's first women-only vocational training institute, British newspaper the Guardian has reported.
The consortium, led by Epsom's North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), will develop the new college in the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast.
Five hundred students will start at the college in the autumn studying courses including IT, beauty, fashion, jewellery design, business administration and English.
NESCOT’s Sunaina Mann, the first Asian principal in the UK, took part in a signing ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel in the capital Riyadh.
Mrs Mann said: "The opportunity for women doesn’t stop at accessing equivalent qualifications to their Saudi male counterparts.
"We will be keeping a close eye on our gifted and talented students and will seek to recruit and train them to be the college’s teachers of tomorrow."
Men will not be permitted on the site while students are in residence and 120 female staff will be recruited from Saudi Arabia and the consortium members.