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Wintec Secures Major Contract in Saudi Arabia

Wintec Secures Major Contract in Saudi Arabia

The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) has won a contract to jointly operate a cluster of three new vocational training colleges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, starting later this year.

It is the first New Zealand educational organisation to secure such a contract in Saudi Arabia. Wintec, which is one of New Zealand’s leading institutes of technology, has joined forces with a reputable Spanish education institution, Mondragon Educacion Internacional (MEI) to operate these new colleges, based in western Saudi Arabia.

A worldwide tender was issued last year by the Colleges of Excellence (COE) of Saudi Arabia. Top educational organisations were sought by COE to train students in more than 26 vocational and technical training colleges built and owned by the Saudi Government. COE is set up to offer quality vocational training programmes to create a more well-skilled Saudi workforce and to meet the needs of their job market.

Wintec Chief Executive Mark Flowers says: “by linking in with an international provider like Mondragon, which is already operating a college in Saudi Arabia, the benefits are two-fold. We can develop further expertise by working with a provider that is already operating in the country. And the more we work with Mondragon, I’m sure we’ll see and develop more opportunities in the global education market

“Winning this bid is a tremendous endorsement of Wintec. Organisations from around the world are competing for this opportunity.

“We appreciate the support we have received from Education New Zealand throughout this tender process and their continued support as we begin delivery in Saudi Arabia. This contract signals improving educational relationships with Saudi Arabia and could open up more opportunities for other New Zealand institutes of technology and polytechnics in the Middle East markets,” added Mr Flowers.

“Our choice to be involved in these bids was not just driven out of financial considerations, but equally out of expanding our activities to make the most of emerging opportunities in the Middle East with education in line with our internationalisation strategy and our modern approach.”

The joint venture deal will see a substantial financial benefit over the term of the five-year contract.

“We will use this to invest further into our Wintec programmes, services, facilities and for reinvestment in international education opportunities,” added Mr Flowers.

The key contribution Wintec has in the partnership with Mondragon include Wintec’s established English-language bridging programmes, its specialised programmes of study such as nursing and graphic design; and staff recruitment expertise.

Iñaki Pagonabarraga, MEI’s Chief Executive says: “The MEI model is focused on a strong commitment with local industry, and with Wintec, we can expand our offer to better adapt to the Saudi experience. This alliance paves the way for future opportunities for our two organisations to work together on other export education initiatives.”

Mr Pagonabarraga noted that MEI already operates a college of excellence in Saudi Arabia, where it is applying its model based on adaptability and partnerships.


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