The Red Sea Development Company has signed an agreement with the University of Prince Mugrin to award 120 scholarships for undergraduate studies, commencing this academic year.
The five-year college program will lead to a bachelor of science degree in international hospitality management, which is accredited by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
John Pagano, chief executive, the Red Sea Development Company, said: “We are excited to launch this initiative, in partnership with the University of Prince Mugrin and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
“These two institutions share our ambition to support the accelerated pace of development in Saudi Arabia through the creation of educational opportunities suited to the requirements of a rapidly expanding tourism sector.
“The initial response has been overwhelming, with more than 12,000 applications since the portal opened on September 1st.”
He added: “We hope to contribute to the growth of the wider tourism and hospitality talent pool, helping young Saudis move into exciting new careers.
“A qualified, highly skilled workforce and steady supply of manpower will also position Saudi Arabia as an attractive investment opportunity for hotel partners and investors, for our project and across the industry.”
Where possible, the Red Sea Development Company will seek to provide job opportunities for successful graduates, either directly or with partners involved in the development or subsequent operation of the destination.
President of University of Prince Mugrin, Khader Al-Qurashi, added: “University of Prince Mugrin continuously seeks to contribute to the development of the national human capital through offering unique and quality programs in accordance to international standards, that will result in the successful employment of its graduates, and meet the needs of the local leading development projects including the Red Sea Project.”
“Our industry represents one job in every ten worldwide, and the provision of quality training is key to maintaining excellence in our sector.”
By end of September, the accepted students will start their five years studies.
The program will be launched with a preparative year, and will offer modules integral to any student keen to launch a career in the tourism and hospitality industry.
It will be covering courses such as management theories, and applied business projects, in accordance with Swiss and international standards.
Several of these modules are particularly well suited to meet the hiring needs of the Red Sea destination, and subsequent operation.