Nov 14, 2023
Ma’aden (Saudi Arabian Mining Company) celebrated the launch of Saudi Arabia’s first mining science and engineering bachelor’s degree program at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), a major step in developing the next generation of talent in the Kingdom’s mining sector.
During an inauguration ceremony hosted at KFUPM in Dharan, the students on the program were welcomed by the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources H.E. Bandar Alkhorayef, the Vice Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources H.E. Eng. Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Ma’aden CEO Robert Wilt and KFUPM President Dr. Mohammed Al Saggaf.
Ma’aden is supporting the establishment of the bachelor’s program with KFUPM in partnership with the Ministry of Industry & Mineral Resources, to help equip students with critical skills needed to become leaders and changemakers in the sector. Over the next ten years, Ma’aden will sponsor 30 students annually through the program (20 students pursuing degrees in mining engineering and 10 students pursuing degrees in geology).
During the ceremony, the Minister affirmed that the program will enhance the Kingdom's global position in the mining industry, by providing students with proficient training and the necessary knowledge and tools of AI, machine learning, big data, programming, and entrepreneurship.
Ma’aden CEO Robert Wilt said “Mining plays a highly significant role in the diversification of Saudi Arabia. As the sector establishes itself as the third pillar of the Saudi economy, the nation and our company must invest in the next generation of mining leaders.
“The program we have launched is a prime example of that and is one of a number of initiatives we have established and supported in the Kingdom, including our Schools of Excellence and Saudi Mining Polytechnic. Doing so ensures that Ma’aden is at the forefront of developing a highly skilled, homegrown Saudi workforce.”
The bachelor’s program will provide the students with unique career opportunities and help to bridge skills gaps across the mining sector. Students will access diverse technical courses on subjects ranging from processing mineral ores to sustainability. They will also gain wider commercial expertise through courses on minerals economics and the business feasibility of mineral production.
The degree course harnesses new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics techniques to enhance the students’ learning experience.
This is the latest major initiative in Ma’aden’s support of education and skills development in Saudi Arabia, contributing to the Kingdom’s economic transformation under Vision 2030. Previous initiatives included opening two Schools of Excellence in the Northern Borders Region in 2016 to provide a world class STEM education to students in the area and an all-girls school also opened recently. The company also contributed to the establishment of the Saudi Mining Polytechnic in Arar, a first-of-its kind institute in the Middle East.