College expands its international operations after securing multi-million pound Middle Eastern contract

Dudley College was recently awarded a £9 million contract by the Saudi Arabian Government to work within the country’s Eastern Province to develop its capacity and capability in terms of delivering high quality education and training. The college secured the contract after tendering against other learning providers from across the world.

The three year contract will involve working with the Saudi Government’s leading provider of training – the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) – focusing on key leadership and management practices which underpin the successful operation of technical colleges and working with them to deliver a range of ambitious and aspirational plans for the future.

Lowell Williams, Principal at Dudley College explained: “Providing employment for Saudi nationals is a key priority for the Kingdom. To do this, more young people, male and female, must enter into high quality training, as currently less that 10% of the Saudi workforce takes part in vocational training.

“Saudi Arabia has a massive expansion plan for its colleges and it is turning to experts in the further education sector across the world to support it during this development phase. Dudley College was well placed to become involved as its international track record has been acknowledged by many of the key players in the global arena.

Lowell continues: “For the college this is a fantastic opportunity and a new venture. Not only does it provide exciting prospects for some of our workforce, it also reduces our reliance on UK government funding, particularly in these times of austerity. The college and its local communities will benefit significantly from this project as the surplus it will generate will allow us to further develop our resources and facilities for the young people and adults of the borough and surrounding areas”.

Over the last four years, Dudley College has delivered a number of programmes aimed at developing the capacity of educational institutions across the Middle East and North Africa region. These include quality assurance training across Yemen, a major leadership and management development programme to college deans across Saudi Arabia, a British Council project to support Egyptian vocational training centres and working in Tunisia to increase the teaching of English language.

This is in addition to ongoing work in China, Vietnam Spain, Denmark, the European Union and a project to develop leadership and management skills of college managers in India, a project that grew out of our successes in Saudi Arabia.