Queen Rania Attends AOU Board Meeting

May 04, 2008

(Jordan Times - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania on Sunday took part in the 9th meeting of the Arab Open University (AOU) board of trustees, where participants discussed several issues including the 2008-2012 AOU strategy and its scientific research plans.

They also discussed establishing a centre in Lebanon to ensure the quality of education, AOU employees’ salary scale and cooperation prospects with Harvard University, in addition to reviewing a follow-up performance report.

“We accomplished a lot in the past months but our meeting today is to look to the AOU’s future, its strategy and future partnership prospects,” said the Queen, who is co-chairperson of the AOU board of trustees.

“We have a lot to accomplish,” she told the AOU board members.

The Queen also thanked Prince Talal Ben Abdul Aziz, the president of the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organisation (AGFUND) and co-chairperson of the AOU board of trustees, expressing appreciation of his continued support for the university and his efforts to promote higher education in the Arab world.

The AOU, which started enrolling students in 2002, functions under the umbrella of AGFUND as a private pan-Arab institution of higher education.

In addition, Queen Rania voiced hope the university will pursue its efforts to realise the dreams of young Arab men and women, empowering them through education by giving them more opportunities in the labour market.

The Queen spoke of her joy last year as she laid the cornerstone for the AOU campus in Jordan, explaining that the university was a dream come true for Jordanians whose circumstances had prevented them from becoming full-time students.

The AOU Jordan branch graduated its first class in August 2005, with some 400 students receiving bachelor’s degrees in education and higher diploma certificates.

Highlighting the facility’s expansion plans, Prince Turki Ben Talal briefed members on progress in the construction of AOU branches in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and Egypt.

The buildings, which seek to provide an appropriate educational infrastructure for academic activities and accommodate a larger number of students, are expected to be ready within the next three years.

The AOU board of trustees comprises academicians and businessmen from several Arab countries: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon and Yemen.