Monash leads major global education initiative

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle

Monash University has been selected to host 50 senior school teachers, principals and supervisors from Saudi Arabia for a six month program as part of the Building Leadership and Change through School Immersion project. The program was officially announced on 6 March 2017 at Monash College, Melbourne, with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle in attendance.

The project is an ambitious, long-term endeavour to transform the knowledge, skills and attitudes of Saudi education professionals through university-guided immersion in successful schools in Australia, as part of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan 2030.

Professor Deborah Corrigan, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, said the Faculty was excited to be working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Education in this long-term collaboration to build leadership capacity for change in education.

“It is a brave and exciting program, immersing senior Saudi school teachers, principals and supervisors in the education system here in Victoria, with potential to achieve real educational change in Saudi Arabia.

“From Monash's perspective we will have the opportunity to mentor and collaborate with these teachers, bringing new and exciting dimensions to our own work. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration,” Professor Corrigan said.

The Saudi participants will undertake an extensive program designed for them by Monash University’s Faculty of Education. For the first three months of the program they will undertake intensive English language training at Monash College in order to improve their current levels of fluency. They will then be placed in top performing schools in Melbourne for 12 weeks. This allows the teachers to be immersed in an Australian school, observe classes, interact with teachers, and be exposed to new and innovative ways of teaching, learning and engaging with students. They are not expected to teach. School placements will be arranged and overseen by the Faculty and, during this time, the teachers will attend seminars at the University on various topics relating to teaching and learning.

Each participant will also have a dedicated academic mentor from the Faculty to guide them on innovative projects to implement in their home school upon completion of the program. The projects will be inspired by the school immersion experience and guided by the academic mentor. The aim is for the participants to act as change agents when they return to Saudi Arabia, helping the country transition to a knowledge economy.

The Saudi teachers will commence the program on Monday 6 March 2017. The project is entirely funded by the Ministry of Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.