International Advisory Board

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Meetings and Achievements

IAB Meetings and Achievements

Meeting Date Theme Venue
IAB-1 29-30 Jan. 2011 Introducing KAU and its Strategic Plan KAU, Jeddah
IAB-2 2-3- July 2011 Development of the Scientific Research at KAU Vienna Univ. Austria
IAB-3 18-19 Feb. 2012 KAU Steps towards Creativities and Innovation – Part 1 KAU, Jeddah
IAB-4 13-14 Oct. 2012 KAU Steps towards Creativities and Innovation – Part 2 IE Univ. Spain
IAB-5 11-12 May 2013 Towards Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Part 1 KAU, Jeddah
IAB-6 22-24 Nov. 2013 Towards Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Part 2 Bilkent Univ. Turkey
IAB-7 20-21 Sept. 2014 KAU Strategic Plan III for World-Class University Level KAU, Jeddah
IAB-8 19-20 March 2016 International Experience in Developing the Financial Resources of Universities KAU, Jeddah
IAB-9 7-8 Oct. 2017 Optimal Investment of KAU Capabilities in Innovation and Technology Localizing KAU, Jeddah
IAB-10 20-21 Oct. 2018 The Innovative Role of KAU in "NEOM" Mega-City KAU, Jeddah
IAB-11 19-20 Oct. 2019 Enhancing the KAU Educational Outcomes to Align with the Labor Market According to the Saudi Vision 2030 KAU, Jeddah

Summary of IAB Recommendations


First Meeting: 23-24 Safar 1432 AH / 29-30 January 2011
Meeting Theme: An overview of KAU and its Strategic Plan
First Meeting Recommendations:
  1. Focusing on the superiority in some Scientific fields as it is difficult to show excellence in all fields.
  2. Employing researchers from abroad to strengthen research centers of excellence, make world-class researches and technology transfer.
  3. Focusing on linking elements of knowledge (research – transfer of knowledge to people and decision makers - implementation).
  4. The need to prioritize KAU's interests in the field of scientific research.
  5. Moving to a knowledge-based economy.
  6. Attracting PhD students and post-PhD researchers from around the world.
  7. Encouraging researchers into research groups.

Second Meeting: 30 Rajab – 1 Sha’ban 1432 AH / 2-3 July 2011
Meeting Theme: Development of Scientific Research at KAU
Second Meeting Recommendations:
  1. Creating a system for excellence awards in scientific research by granting prizes to those who carry out effective and high quality research that does not depend on quantity, and to be aware that publication is in English mandatory.
  2. Increasing the quality of research capacities of KAU, and establish closer ties between education / learning and the requirements of the labor market.
  3. Strengthen the relevance of scientific research in Saudi Arabia.
  4. Establishing a new center that considers excellence in the field of social sciences, and push the global publishing movement in the field of these sciences to highlight their importance and contribution to the formation of society in the future.
  5. Finance University’s research programs that are important to the industrial sector.
  6. Highlight the importance of the future economic opportunities and focus on creating new academic programs compatible with these opportunities.
  7. Expand the acceptance of graduate students in order to develop KAU into a scientific research-based University.
  8. Increasing the rate of accepting foreign students at KAU to guarantee that these students finish their studies as quickly as possible compared to others.
  9. Developing a program aims to help the academics from outside KAU visit, and creating incentives and ways to access to the employment.

Third Meeting: 26-27 Rabi Al-Awwal 1433 AH / 18-19 February 2012
Meeting Theme: KAU Steps towards Creativity and Innovation – Part 1
Third Meeting Recommendations:
  1. Authorizing Wadi Jeddah Company to search for areas of cooperation with other bodies.
  2. The need to create a model for creative offices in which qualified human Competencies are available to connect with researchers in order to attract innovators.
  3. The need to finance special creativities and innovations
  4. Giving more attention to social sciences, literature and basic sciences, and developing creative and innovative energies among students according to the needs of society and businesspersons.
  5. As well as working hard to achieve the following:
    • Work on discovering creators and innovators.
    • Access to students in their secondary schools to discover and sponsor the talented ones.
    • The relationship between KAU and the industrial entities should be two-way: Transfer of technology from KAU to the industrial entities, while increasing the investments of industrial entities in teaching and learning.
    • Seeking sponsors from new ideas (for example, from the industrial entities).
    • The need to improve and provide opportunities for students from abroad to join KAU in order to integrate the talented individuals from abroad with the talented individuals from the Kingdom.

Fourth Meeting: 27-28 Zul-Qe'dah 1433 AH / 13-14 October 2012
Meeting Theme: KAU Steps towards Creativity and Innovation – Part 2
Fourth Meeting Recommendations:
  1. The great interest in developing the program (Idea) applied at KAU three years ago, which is one of the most important programs to discover talented and creative academic staff and students as well as professionals.
  2. Establishing a program to attract secondary school students to KAU and evaluate their level in their first university years by applying some valid and comprehensive tests.
  3. The practical application program for all colleges in KAU, which allows all students of KAU to acquire scientific and practical experience that will reflect their creativity.
  4. Developing a strategic plan for the transfer of technology, because this aspect will support the process of creative development in KAU as well as the industrial sector.
  5. Providing students with the basic principles of entrepreneurship through a clear curriculum that is taught to all of them.
  6. Investment of creative ideas through Wadi Jeddah Company.

Fifth Meeting: 1-2 Rajab 1434 AH / 11-12 May 2013
Meeting Theme: The Necessary Steps for KAU to Achieve Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Part 1
Fifth Meeting Recommendations:
  1. Launch a campaign to develop teaching and learning through the following factors:
    • Learning methods that include self-learning, project-based learning and team-based learning.
    • Measuring the output.
    • Capabilities and preparations.
    • Mobilizing and training.
    • Calendar and stimulation.
  2. Establishing a center for education services and mobilizing faculty members.
  3. Establishing an effective office for graduates with a recruitment desk.
  4. Taking into consideration the requirements of the labor market and transforming them into education and training programs.
  5. Increasing cooperation between KAU and industry sectors through strong communication channels, and increasing the establishment of master's degrees and applied doctorate along with the industry sectors.

Sixth Meeting: 19-21 Muharram 1435 AH / 22-24 November 2013
Meeting Theme: The Necessary Steps for KAU to Achieve Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Part 2
Sixth Meeting Recommendations:

Establishing programs for students including:

  1. University Research Program.
  2. A foundation program in science and technology for the elite.
  3. English Language Program.
  4. A program about matching teaching and learning center with the strategy.
  5. Teaching and Practicing Entrepreneurship.
  6. Investment opportunities.
  7. Providing legal, financial advices.
  8. Training opportunities in business sites.
  9. Excellence in Education Initiative.
  10. To develop areas of excellence.
  11. Building capacity to achieve excellence
Details of these programs are available with IAB Secretariat-General.

Seventh Meeting: 25-26 Zul-Qe'dah 1435 AH / 20-21 September 2014
Meeting Theme: The Third Strategic Plan of KAU to Reach the Level of World-Class Universities
Seventh Meeting Recommendations:
  1. KAU's primary goal is to step steadily towards its vision and to achieve the best in education, scientific research and community service.
  2. The importance of applying and implementing the strategic plan with the responsibility of implementing each part.
  3. The importance of selecting important projects to focus on and prioritize them.
  4. The importance of taking into consideration the stakeholder perspective when developing the strategic plan.
  5. The plan requires the emergence of the personality of KAU and the stakeholder and community perspectives.
  6. The presence of a close integration in the elements of the strategic plan between the student's education, scientific research, innovation and entrepreneurship, which are basic features of the leading universities.
  7. The performance indicators for the postgraduate and research pillar should be based on the group of disciplines and not on the universities, in the sense that the indicators are based on both KAU/academic department and not only on the basis of KAU.
  8. The vision of KAU was rephrased, and the community was defined in the mission in terms of its features (a knowledge-based society) in addition to the reformulation of the main strategic objective of the plan.

Eighth Meeting: 10-11 Jumādā Al-Akhira 1437 AH / 19-20 March 2016
Meeting Theme: Global Experiences in the Development of Financial Resources for Universities
Eighth Meeting Recommendations:
  1. Studying the points of strengths of KAU, and what it can do, especially in industrial and medical sectors, yielding revenue and introducing entrepreneurship into its programs.
  2. Proposing a strategy for KAU (enforceable) that aims to increase non-governmental income to be four times more than the present value annually until 2025. The following resources will be included:
    • The yield of externally-backed projects and advisory services.
    • Scientific endowment and donations to KAU.
    • Supporting companies that are high-tech and low-risk, private schools, service companies, brands, hotels ... etc.
    • Start-up companies with high returns, low risk, and high tech, starting with financing by capitalists.
    • Hire laboratory equipment for use by companies.
    • Continuous Education, Summer Courses, and Evening Courses.
  3. Good advertising, marketing services provided by KAU to internal and external users.
  4. Enacting regulations governing KAU's revenues from patents, and advisory services carried out by faculty members.
  5. Activating Alumni Associations, Friends of KAU and fund raising campaigns for KAU.
  6. Establishment of a technical licensing office for the marketing of advanced technology at KAU.
  7. Establishment of a business office under KAU's vice presidency for business and knowledge creativity to guide colleges with marketable products and outputs as well as the most important needs of the community.

Ninth Meeting: 17-18 Muharram 1439 AH / 7-8 October 2017
Meeting Theme: The Best Investment of KAU Capabilities in Innovation and Localization of Technology
Ninth Meeting Recommendations:
Creating a course for all students in the field of entrepreneurship, to create 132 start-up companies. This number is based on the number of academic departments at KAU
  1. Developing and enhancing intra studies among different specializations in KAU to increase the frequency of interaction between members of the teaching staff with different specializations, and to develop and enhance interdisciplinary or intra studies, as well as developing and improving social responsibility.
  2. Increasing KAU interaction with the industrial sectors and studying industry issues and working to find effective solutions to them, and this is much better than attracting the private sectors to KAU through the issues that are solved by the teaching staff which may not be related to industry. And finding and adopting leading student projects suggested by the industrial partners through building, establishing, and preparing joint laboratories in collaboration and coordination with the great industrial sectors.
  3. Financial support for the startups and ensuring headquarters to startup companies without being partner in the start-ups, but in return, KAU should have a portion of the profits in the first years of its establishment
  4. Enhancing and improving health services provided by KAU, to increase the medical tourism (travel for treatment) rate, to make it a source of income. This needs marketing the potentials of medical and tourism colleges to attract patients from neighboring countries to seek treatment here in KAU. As well as establishing health services addressed to pilgrims and visitors.
  5. Preparing for future to make KAU a technical research and innovation university
  6. Preparing university researchers to have their researches highly cited by sending promising young university graduates to study PhD in prestigious top international universities which are known for their excellence, and guiding those delegates to work under the supervision of professors whose researches are highly cited in universities abroad, focusing on promising fields for KSA, e.g., water, alternative energy, Islamic economy, Red sea science, and pilgrimage.
  7. Setting a plan to highlight KAU as a leading university in the Islamic and Arab worlds.

Tenth Meeting: 11-12 Safar 1440 AH / 20-21 October 2018
Meeting Theme: The Innovative Role of KAU in the Mega City project of “NEOM”

The Initiatives of the Tenth Meeting for NEOM Mega City:

IAB members presented 25 initiatives for NEOM Mega City as follows:

No. IAB Member Initiative Title
Education (E)
E1 Prof. J. Ritzen ICT in Education: supporting the teacher in individualized education
E2 Prof. W. Tierney The Use of Games for Learning and Innovation
E3 Prof. W. Tierney e-Learning Center
E4 Prof. A. Atalar High quality non-profit International Schools for NEOM Mega-City
E5 Prof. G. Su Planting the seeds for a technologically advanced nation
E6 Prof. J. Sadlak KAU in NEOM Mega-City Initiative: As “Research – Innovation – Training” Hub for Smart Cities and Communities
E7 Prof. G. Winckler Complexity Science Center Jeddah (CSCenterJeddah)
Energy (G)
G1 Prof. J. Ritzen Photo Voltaic (PV) foils for roofs
G2 Prof. H. Uchida Application of Renewable and Hydrogen Energy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
G3 Dr. S. O’Hara Integrated Pollution Abatement & Heat Capture System
G4 Prof. F. Pur Grid of Hybrid AC/DC Microgrids for Efficient Integration of Renewables and Reliable Electricity Provision
G5 Prof. F. Pur An Innovative Wind Tower Design for Natural Ventilation and Cooling in Residential and Commercial Buildings
G6 Prof. F. Pur Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS)
G7 Prof. F. Pur A Data-Driven Approach for Optimizing Distributed Energy Sources
G8 Prof. F. Pur In-situ condition assessment of buried steel pipelines
G9 Prof. F. Pur Energy Harvesting Technologies for Self-Powered Sensing for Energy Efficient Systems
Food (F)
F1 Prof. J. Ritzen Integrating hydro-cultural food production, desalination and temperature control
F2 Dr. S. O’Hara Enhanced Hydro- & Aquaponic Food Production: Food Security & Water Savings-Part 1
F3 Dr. S. O’Hara Enhanced Hydro- & Aquaponic Food Production: Food Security & Water Savings-Part 2
F4 Dr. S. O’Hara Integrated Desalination Aquaculture & Food Production
F5 Prof. F. Pur Microbial inoculant products for enhanced food security under controlled environment and high saline conditions
Health (H)
H1 Dr. V. Costigliola The healthcare world in the city of the future
Law (L)
L1 Prof. A. Atalar Innovation and Entrepreneurship Friendly Legal Environment
Environment (V)
V1 Prof. F. Pur Zero-emission resource recovery organic waste and wastewater
V2 Prof. F. Pur Soil-Structure Interaction Framework for Sustainable Geotechnical Design of Foundations and Geo-structures
After the meeting, a comprehensive file was prepared containing all the initiatives in Arabic and English, an outline for each initiative including the strengths produced during the meeting discussions when introducing each initiative, and KAU sectors that can cooperate with the provider of the initiative when implementing it in order to yield results and benefit society in our great country. The KAU President and Chairman of IAB, handed the file to His Excellency the Minister of Education, who sent it to the Royal Dewan, then to the Secretary-General of NEOM Council.

Eleventh Meeting: 20-21 Safar 1441 AH / 19-20 October 2019
Meeting Theme: Enhancing the KAU Educational Outcomes to Align with the Labor Market According to the Saudi Vision 2030
Eleventh Meeting Recommendations:
  • The need to pay attention to improve the students' skills in creativity, innovation, critical thinking, communication skills, teamwork, organizational skills, and the English language.
  • Offering an introductory course on artificial intelligence for all university students.
  • Providing multidisciplinary programs to increase graduates employment.
  • Expanding the skills of graduates of humanities departments by teaching them courses in simple mathematics, statistics, data science, computer basics, information technology, and communication.
  • Preparing students and encouraging them, and even enabling them establish start-ups to be entrepreneurs.
  • Benefiting from the experiences of companies, employers, and former university graduates regarding what students should learn, and what skills they should acquire, to be ready for the job market.
  • Continuous communication with employers, to obtain feedback, through specially designed questionnaires, and then carefully analyzing the collected data.
  • Establishing schools for creativity and talented students.
  • Foreseeing the future jobs for the year 2030 and beyond, to align the Kingdom's vision 2030.
  • Appointing business leaders to the university’s supervisory boards into the so-called stakeholder programs.
  • Serious cooperation between KAU and the business sector through joint research, technology transfer, and granting companies the right to use the university facilities within joint bilateral agreements, as well as the university's right to use business facilities in university education.
A report that included all the recommendations was sent to His Excellency the Minister of Education, who kindly circulated it to all Saudi university Presidents.

IAB and the Saudi Vision 2030

IAB Meetings and the Saudi Vision 2030

Since the issuance of the Kingdom Vision 2030, the IAB of KAU has started a new direction in its themes to align with this Vision. It is stated in the Kingdom Vision 2030 for universities, the following goals:

  • Ranking at least five Saudi universities among the top 200 universities in the world rankings by 2030.
  • Upgrading from the Kingdom's position (25) in the Global Competitiveness Index to one of the first (10) positions

This is why the themes of the meetings from the eighth to the eleventh came as follows:

  • International Experience in Developing the Financial Resources of Universities.
  • Optimal Investment of KAU Capabilities in Innovation and Technology Localizing.
  • The Innovative Role of KAU in "NEOM" Mega-City.
  • Enhancing the KAU Educational Outcomes to Align with the Labor Market According to the Saudi Vision 2030.

This made these meetings and the recommendations that emerged from them help the university play the role assigned to it under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education to implement the Kingdom Vision 2030


KAU Achievements Emerging from IAB Recommendations

  1. The Distinguished Scientists Program: This started after the recommendation of the IAB in its first meeting held in January 2011 AD. The program has contributed to improving the quality of scientific publishing.
  2. 2. Establishing the Center for Social and Humanities Research: This was established on the basis of the recommendations of the second meeting.
  3. 3. Increasing interest in publishing in the field of social sciences. This has helped improve the university’s position in international rankings.
  4. 4. Attracting international PhD students to study at KAU, as well as attracting postdoctoral researchers. This has come in implementation of one of the recommendations of the first meeting.
  5. 5. Establishing research groups at the university. This was one of the recommendations of the IAB, which resulted in increased research activity.
  6. 6. Establishing a reward program for excellence in scientific research by granting prizes to those who carry out research of high impact and quality that does not depend on quantity, and that publication in English language is mandatory.
  7. 7. Creating a reward system for excellence in scientific research by granting prizes to those who carry out research of high impact and quality that does not depend on quantity, and that publication in English language is mandatory
  8. 8. Emphasis on the quality of publishing and the global impact of this publication at the regional level. Scientific publishing has developed in the ISI list, and in Nature and Science journals.
  9. 9. Identifying and defining areas of high importance, of interest to the Kingdom and KAU alike, such as (alternative energy, water resources, genetic technology, and epidemic diseases).
  10. 10. Highlighting KAU name internationally, and strengthening its cooperation with distinguished universities.
  11. 11. King Abdulaziz University escalated in the international rankings (Shanghai, Times, QS, US News), as it became the TOP in the Arab world in all these rankings.
  12. 12. Enhancing the KAU goals and achieving its Mission and vision.
  13. 13. Increasing the interest in the knowledge-based economy.
  14. 14. Putting effort on discovering, adopting and caring for creative people and innovators.
  15. 15. Establishing a center for entrepreneurship, and cooperation with the business sector.
  16. 16. Promoting international cooperation between KAU and world-class distinguished universities.
  17. 17. Publishing many books, such as:
    Becoming a World-Class University - The Case of King Abdulaziz University
    This was authored by some of IAB members and published by Springer. It is available online at Springer website. It has achieved 64K downloads since 2016. It has helped improve the image of KAU and the Kingdom in general.
    Successful Global Collaborations in Higher Education InstitutionsThis was authored by some of IAB members and published by Springer. It is available online at Springer website. It has achieved 55K downloads since 2019. It has helped improve the image of KAU and the Kingdom in general.
    “Becoming a World-Class University - The Case of King Abdulaziz University” – Arabic Version.
    This was distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities.
    “Successful Global Collaborations in Higher Education Institutions” – Arabic Version.
    This was also distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities.
    “The International Advisory Board of KAU - Conduct and Achievement: A Success Story” – Arabic Version
    This was about the whole story of IAB since its establishment until 2019. This was distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities. The second edition of this book contains updated information.
    “The International Advisory Board of KAU - Conduct and Achievement: A Success Story” – English Version.
    This was also distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities.
    “Beacon of World-Class Studies and Consultations” Arabic and English versions.
    This was originally published in Arabic about the possible consultancy work of the IAB of KAU. It was, then, published in English. Both versions were distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities.
    “The Leading World Most Innovative Universities” - Arabic Version.
    This was distributed to all Saudi University Presidents, as well as to other prominent personalities.
    “The Leading World Most Innovative Universities” - English Version..
    This is in press.=
    “International Experience in Developing the Financial Resources of Universities”.
    This is authored by some of IAB members and will be published by Springer. The Arabic version will be published by KAU.


Launching four world-class scientific journals:

“Bulletin of Mathematical Sciences”، This is published in cooperation with Springer, the international publisher. The magazine was able to achieve great success in ashort time by publishing important research, thus achieving a large number of citations for its researches. The magazine has reached the number 17 in ISI Journals for the year 2019 out of 324 magazines in the field of mathematics, with an Impact Factor of 2.241. It is now in the top 6% of magazines in its field.


“Genomic Medicine”.This is published in cooperation with the Nature Partner Journals (npj) Series. The magazine was able to achieve great success in ashort time by publishing important researches, thus achieving a large number of citations for its researches. The magazine has reached the number 22 in ISI Journals for the year 2019 out of 177 magazines in the field of Genomic Medicine, with an Impact Factor of 5,631. It is now in the top 13% of magazines in its field.


“Climate and Atmospheric Science”. This is published in cooperation with the Nature Partner Journals (npj) Series. The magazine was able to achieve great success in short time by publishing important researches, thus achieving a large number of citations for its researches. The magazine has reached the number 10 in ISI Journals for the year 2019 out of 93 magazines in the field of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, with an Impact Factor of 5,365. It is now in the top 11% of magazines in its field.


“The Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure”. This is published in cooperation with the Elsevier, the international publisher. The magazine was able to achieve great success in ashort time by publishing important research, thus achieving ranking with the ranked magazines.



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Last Update 1/3/2021 12:22:39 PM