Saudi Arabia – massive opportunity for UK University involvement in ESL programs


As part of an international recruitment agency we are at the cutting edge of the skills shortage areas across many industrial sectors as we recently reviewed in this article.

As part of our work we sometimes become insiders on international requirements which can range from finding key oil and gas personnel for the Middle East to Private Bankers in London, Geneva or Monaco.

As we are London based we were excited to have been asked by a Saudi client to try and arrange a partnership deal with a UK university with expertise in selected areas to assist and to become involved on a long term project to assist selected universities in Saudi Arabia improve upon the programs they offer.

Given the pressure that all UK universities are under in terms of fees, that will be exacerbated by the reduction in applications in 2013, we would have expected that universities would have been snapping at our ankles in terms of accessing opportunities to gain overseas income and an additional form of revenue but it has been anything but the case.

  • This opportunity arose over the Western festive break and it difficult for international clients to understand that universities shut up shop for the best part of a month and don’t even bother to monitor or answer email traffic which is a commercial necessity.
  • Several communications have been necessary to engender any form of response and it seems the scope of the opportunity is being missed by most with the odd exception.

Academia complains at the financial straits they are in but fail to act commercially when opportunities arise.

We are screening responses for our client and we may be forced to look at commercial solutions if we cannot gain direct University support which is our preferred route.


Author: Chris Slay


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