News

Essex graduate from Saudi Arabia shortlisted as regional finalist for British Council Awards

  • Date

    Thu 12 Apr 18

Turki Althubaiti

A leading academic at Taif University in Saudi Arabia has reached the regionals in the prestigious British Council Awards.

 

Professor Althubaiti, who is currently Vice-President for Planning, Development and Continued Education at Taif University says his studies at Essex have had a major influence on his career in higher education.

Growing up within a literary family, he was drawn to complete a Masters Degree and PhD in English Literature at Essex.

He said: "It became a dream of mine to complete my postgraduate studies in the UK, the cradle of English language and literature. The University of Essex with its long tradition of academic freedom, inclusivity, and a global outlook held an inescapable attraction to me."

He added: "My experience as a postgraduate student in the UK has been one of the most transformational experiences in my life. I experienced a model for a higher education community that was strikingly different from the one I had known before: a model that fostered academic freedom, inclusivity, and respect.

"The level of academic freedom I experienced in the seminars allowed me to develop my abilities to the fullest. My ideas were never laughed at, no matter how eccentric or bold they sounded."

He had completed his undergraduate studies at Taif University and returned to the university after his studies at Essex to become an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, where he looked to implement some of the ideas he had seen at Essex.

He said: "At Essex I experienced a model for a higher education community that was strikingly different from the one I had known before , a model that fostered academic freedom, inclusivity, and respect. I have since then been working to achieve here the same level of positive community culture."

During his career Professor Althubaiti has developed a new curriculum for the BA in English Language and Literature, initiated two new postgraduate masters degree programs, worked with the British Council to start an English Language Centre and was responsible for launching the first CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) in Saudi Arabia.

Professor Althubaiti also initiated programmes to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education.

He said: "My studies in the UK made me aware that the most precious resource any country possesses are its people, and that I should do my utmost so that Saudi youth - whether male or female - achieve their full potential."

The British Council Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. Now in its fourth year, more than 1,700 entries from 125 countries representing 140 UK higher education institutes were received for this year's awards.

Regional Award Winners will be announced on 19 April. Winners will then go on to compete for the prestigious Global Alumni Awards which will be announced at the end of April.

Please visit the British Council Alumni Awards website to read more about this year's inspirational finalists.