Imperial College has agreed a partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a new post graduate research university in Saudi Arabia. The partnership, expected to be worth $50million will see joint collaborations in research, curriculum development and academic recruitment. Imperial is expected to help KAUST in its first years of operation to develop its departments of chemical engineering and material science.
Sir Richard Sykes welcomed the agreement saying that the partnership will create a "hub of research excellence that can play its part in tackling the challenges of the twenty first century which science and technology will be vital to solving." KAUST has also signed Academic Excellence Alliances with Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin and University of California-Berkeley.
This is not Imperial's first foray into the middle east. The Imperial College London Diabetes Centre opened in August 2006 in Dubai. Live! is left to wonder if Imperial will open an official overseas campus soon, as other British universities have done.