Medicine and dentistry training programme for Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Embassy Cultural Attache has signed a contract with the University of Dundee to train outstanding students from their country as medical doctors and dentists.

The first formal agreement between the Saudi government and the University of Dundee will fund three annual intakes of medicine and dentistry students to a bespoke one-year foundation course. A total of eight students are expected to join each intake.

On successful completion, the students can enter the professional five-year undergraduate degree programmes as part of the existing agreed numbers entering medicine and dentistry from overseas.

The foundation programme is designed to support their studies so that students can enjoy one of the best educational experiences in the UK.

Dundee has been ranked in the World’s Top 20 and number one in Scotland in this year’s International Student Barometer (ISB), the largest annual study of international students in the world. The prestigious Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey has ranked the University top in Scotland for each of the past six years.

The Cultural Attache were welcomed to Dundee by David Bearn, Professor of Orthodontics at the University’s School of Dentistry, who said, “We are delighted that the Saudi Arabian government has chosen Dundee to be a formal higher education partner in the UK. This agreement is testament to our status as a world-leader in medical and dental training.

“The best applicants from their country will be selected for consideration and we will then make a final decision on the successful students. The foundation programmes have been developed to help them make the most of their experience and studies, including language support, orientation and cultural familiarisation. In return, the students must meet high standards of academic performance.”

Dundee has a long history of working with Saudi students. The country’s Minister for Education, Dr Azzam Aldakhil, is a graduate of the University while a reception for alumnus in the country will take place at the Sheraton Riyadh Hotel and Tower on Monday, 13th April.

The alumni meeting takes place on the same day as a ‘Showcase Dundee’ event for prospective students in Riyadh and the University will be represented at the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) in the city from 15th-18th April.

Dr Faisal M. Al-Mohanna Abaalkhail, from the Saudi Cultural Attache, added, “Dundee is and continues to be, one of the main destinations for Saudi Arabian students. Our intentions with this agreement, and what we expect from it in future, are considerable.”

The University of Dundee is focused on an ambitious transformation vision through which it aspires to be Scotland’s leading university, transforming lives locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge, and by delivering excellence in teaching and research. Wendy Alexander was appointed as Dundee’s first Vice-Principal (International) in February to spearhead its growing activity around the globe.

Already a world leader in medical and scientific research and an emerging leader in innovative design, the University is expanding its international activities through partnerships with other institutions across the world and through welcoming international students.

“It is more important than ever for universities to operate on a global stage in everything we do,” said Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University. “This agreement allows us to make a direct impact on health and wellbeing across the world and builds on our work in Kuwait, where we are transforming lives by exporting Dundee’s expertise in diabetes, and in Eritrea, where our healthcare education provision has helped create a new generation of medical professionals over the past 12 years.”


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