New council eyes deals in the Middle East

By Chris Adams

University of Calgary administration recently formed a Middle East Advisory Council staffed by administrative, academic and student leaders. The council is charged with reviewing and selecting new deals in the Middle East.

While no new partners have been selected, vice-provost international Janaka Ruwanpura said they are looking to strengthen ties in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. The council will select the deals based on six criteria, including work in energy, education and sports medicine.

The council will seek corporate and research opportunities in the Middle East along with new academic partnerships. While names of the organizations and countries have not been released the council is already in talks with institutions in Bahrain.

“[Bahrain] actually has a good scholarship scheme called the Prince Crown scholarship that is given by the government of Bahrain. We are looking at bringing the students from that [to the U of C],” Ruwanpura said. “Also, there was a request from strategic and solar energy studies from Bahrain.”

The council will meet four times per year, and are scheduled to next meet July 8.

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