Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has announced a partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, which will see thousands of the University’s students gain access to customised educational materials.
Imam University is the country’s third largest university, and the largest Islamic university in the world, with over 24,000 students and 1,300 faculty. Under the new agreement, Pearson will manage the University’s preparatory year programme over the next five years. There are currently 13,000 students enrolled in the preparatory year, but this number is expected to grow by 20 per cent per year, over the next five years.
Under the Pearson programme, Foundation Year students will be able to utilise specially customised learning materials across a range of disciplines, including mathematics, information and computer technology, science and English language. Pearson and Imam University hope to have these customised texts available in digital format by 2015, placing Imam University at the forefront of digital innovation in higher education in the region.
Pearson has been tasked with rapidly digitalising the University’s prep year programme, making some of the world’s leading e-learning solutions available to Imam’s students. As well as using e-texts, students will also gain access to the online homework and tutorial programme, MyLabs, which has been used by more than 42 million learners around the world. The programme will allow Imam’s foundation year students to log in at any time to undertake assessments, gain extra help from educators or peers and submit assignments. MyLabs also provides continuous assessment of student performance and activity in real time, and uses data and analytics to personalise content – reinforcing concepts to target a student’s particular strengths and weaknesses.
Pearson has also committed to helping the University successfully transition to an e-learning environment, by providing hands-on training to faculty and administrators to help them rapidly adapt to the new technology.
By partnering with Pearson, the University will have access to some of the world’s best known and most trusted educational and publishing companies. Pearson has established operations in the Gulf region with dedicated teams working with educational institutions throughout the GCC.
The collaboration between the University and Pearson aligns with the Saudi Government’s aim of developing the Kingdom’s higher education sector in order to achieve a diversified, knowledge based society. Mohammed Asiri, Pearson’s country manager in Saudi Arabia says:
“Pearson is excited to be working with Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University to develop and implement a dynamic and engaging first-year programme for its students. We are confident that providing students with a robust foundation year programme will give them the best chance of completing their degree, and help prepare them for a meaningful and successful career in Saudi Arabia’s increasingly globalised economy”.
Imam University Rector, Dr Suliman Aba Alkhail expressed his appreciation of Pearson’s efforts in cooperating with the University’s Deanship of Preparatory Programmes to improve the curriculum and develop excellent content tailored to the University’s needs, saying “tailored and customised curriculum reflects positively on the future outcomes of the education process”.
Imam University’s Dean of Preparatory Programmes Dr Abdulrahman Alnamlah said he was pleased Pearson was taking into account cultural sensitivities when customising the materials and said:
“This contract with Pearson accompanies a whole package of transformation initiatives that will uplift and upgrade the education process, especially in the field of content development and customisation. We are happy to work with Pearson as a partner. As the world’s largest education company, I believe together we can accomplish great things”.