Effat University is the living legacy of its founder, Her Royal Highness Queen Effat Al-Thunayan Al-Saud (may God rest her soul), the pioneer of female education in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Established in 1999, the university has modelled itself on a broad liberal arts American style of higher education, emphasizing a holistic, inclusive, diversified educational experience for students and preparing them to be effective future ambassadors of Queen Effat’s legacy.
Crafting a Post-Pandemic strategy for a college or university requires attention to two external forces that have shaped the future outlook for higher education around the world, the cost of higher education and the digital educational technologies. Living through Covid-19 crisis has actually inspired creativity, critical reflection, transformation, and desire for renewal among faculty, staff, administrators, parents, alumni, and society as a whole.
I truly believe that a university is an amalgamation of its people and values. The Students, Board of Founders, Board of Trustees, Faculty and Staff, and Alumni have played a role of paramount importance in their unwavering support and counsel. Before we dive into the details of the Strategic Plan 2022-2027, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the people involved in making Effat University what it is today. With the same commitment and dedication displayed by everyone in the past, I am certain that we will together take Effat University to new heights.
Effat University’s Strategic Plan 2022-2027 (the fifth of its kind) emphasizes on innovation, by inspiring everyone at Effat University to be a part of a digital transformation journey. This is a strong reflection of a nation-wide movement towards achieving Vision 2030 and the announcement of national aspirations and priorities of Saudi Arabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the research, development, and innovation section. This will be achieved by empowering and engaging the stakeholders, optimizing the operations, encouraging innovative research and development, as well as providing top notch services centered around the success of students.
We are calling this strategy, Innovation and Digital Transformation.
The focus of this Strategic Plan 2022-2027 is to: i) enhance the mission and vision of the university in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 ii) strongly infuse the culture of innovation into the heart of university’s core values iii) provide a top-class learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance student experience iv) develop sustainable financial planning and management v) strongly support both professional and personal development of the faculty and staff vi) create long lasting impact with a focus on research-oriented philosophy vii) create and upscale partnerships with various entities and ramp up community presence viii) feature in the top five universities of Saudi Arabia and top 800 universities in the world.
In this strategic plan, Effat university will experience the transformation to become a co-educational institution. The decision for Effat University to co-educate was made for a demand/supply reason, as well as to maintain a competitive edge over other similar higher educational institutions in the kingdom and ensure its standing as a successful and competitive liberal arts university. In promoting the advancement of a co-educational institution, and in my capacity as a president of Effat university I formed an ad hoc committee to specifically discuss this issue in 2018. The committee produced a report stating the reasons why it would benefit Effat university to become co-educational. The committee suggested that it would be better to have male in the classroom to improve the quality, diversity, and inclusiveness of student body as well as improve campus life. Furthermore, the university would more likely become stronger because it would draw more students who were interested in studying at Effat University. The Board of Trustees read the recommendation and believed that the inclusion of male into the university would increase its reputation nationally and internationally and support the financial sustainability of the institution. Since the university had the space to accommodate male students, the Board hopes that the ratio of male to female will grow gradually to 1:1 by 2027 and the undergraduate student body would consist of 2418 student by 2027. Therefore, in January 2022 based on positive consensus from the student body, faculty and staff, University Council, and based on the Board of Trustees recommendation, the Ministry of Education agreed to make Effat University co-educational starting in the Spring of 2022.
Effat University has successfully navigated and overcome the adversities posed by the pandemic over the course of the last few years. Despite the challenges, I take pride in the way Effat University has continued to deliver high quality education and nurture supreme talent true to the ethos of the founders. The refreshed and rejuvenated Strategic Plan 2022-2027 will continue to unlock more opportunities for Effat University while serving as a guide to triumph over any challenges. The future is very exciting and full of opportunities. I am both excited and honored to be a part of this exhilarating journey with you.
Dr Haifa Reda Jamal Al Lail
President, Effat University