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Today we are announcing the first Udacity Connect Campus launching in Saudi Arabia, with the long-term goal of helping talented learners across Saudi Arabia achieve their full potential in the technology sector.  This new program is made possible through the remarkable partnership of the MiSK Foundation, and under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz.  

The program will start in Riyadh with a pilot of 150 students, who will be selected to receive full scholarships to enroll in our Android Basics Nanodegree program, our Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree program, or our Data Analyst Nanodegree program. These students will be supported by our coaches on the ground, and will receive both in-person and online support and mentoring. Applications for this first pilot group will open in December on our website. In 2017, we will be expanding the program to another 2,500 scholarship recipients as we look beyond Riyadh to provide opportunities throughout Saudi Arabia.

This is significant for the region, as Secretary General of MiSK, Bader Al Asaker, noted:

“Technology is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 economic transformation program. If we are to diversify our economy, we need to invest in educating talented Saudi youths to a world class standard. Udacity’s programs are both cutting-edge and practical, as befits a world-beating company. Udacity’s campus is a major step on the road to developing an expanding hub of IT excellence within the Kingdom, both a benefit to the students directly and the nation as a whole as they spread their knowledge to colleagues.”

Launching the Udacity Connect Campus in Saudi Arabia is a natural extension of our mission to give aspiring learners across the globe the skills they need to better their lives through education. Talent deserves opportunity. With all that is going on in the world today, and with the impact technology is having on industry, we are even more motivated to help bring relevant, cutting-edge education to those students who have the desire, but perhaps not the access, to participate in this fourth industrial revolution.

Clarissa Shen
Clarissa Shen
Clarissa Shen is the Chief Operating Officer for Udacity. She joined as Udacity’s first business hire leading all business functions. Prior to Udacity, she co-founded a K-12 start-up, led digital change at Apollo Group, and advised Fortune 500 and government clients throughout Greater China, Asia, and Europe as a management consultant with Deloitte/Monitor Group. Clarissa has also managed a Google Top 10 digital marketing team, and led an internationally-renowned touring contemporary dance company. Clarissa graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Williams College, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.