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International collaboration leads to new industry academic win

Students in the hosted Master’s program in geoscience through the University of Leeds participate in a field exercise close to the Red Sea as part of the in-Kingdom course. The program has already given 59 students the opportunity to receive training at the master’s level since it began in September 2017.


In collaboration with the University of Leeds in United Kingdom, Aramco’s Exploration admin area introduces an additional innovative approach to postgraduate development in addition to its regular out-of-Kingdom Advanced Degree Program (ADP). 

“While Exploration is still benefiting from the ADP opportunity offered to the organization through Training and Development, additional programs have been introduced to accommodate the increasing number of College Degree Program for Non-Employees (CDPNEs) and graduates joining the organization,” says Misfir A. AzZahrani, executive director of Exploration. 

“This hosted M.S. program allows a greater number of employees to enhance their academic qualifications at a master’s level, while applying their coursework and learning to their day-to-day work,” said AzZahrani. “It also provides the opportunity for employees to improve their technical communication skills in English via an innovative language and skills support component. 

Hafiz J. Al Shammery, acting general manager with Exploration’s Prospect Portfolio Development, said: “We are grateful to have world-class lecturers come to Saudi Aramco to deliver the program and afford our staff the opportunity to receive the best academic and industry training in the world within the company’s setting. 

The hosted M.S. program in geoscience has already given 59 students the opportunity to receive training at the master’s level since it began in September 2017. This is tenfold the number of students who would have benefited from an out-of-Kingdom master’s program. 

“The hosted M.S. program in geoscience has proven to be one of the best postgraduate academic courses introduced since Saudi Aramco started on a path of academic advancement and accelerated skills development over 70 years ago,” said Ahmed M. Aburas, director of academic programs with Training and Development.

Professor Douglas Paton, the course director from the University of Leeds, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our efforts to develop and deliver the best postgraduate educational offering in this specialist field — at a scalable level — have been acknowledged at high levels by this award. 

“We are extremely grateful for Saudi Aramco’s ongoing commitment to developing its people, accelerating skills advancement and encouraging innovation, which has allowed the collaboration between Saudi Aramco and the University of Leeds to develop an excellent academic program that benefits so many and adds real-time value to the company.

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