Accrediting Geoscience Degrees at Saudi Arabia University
Professor Peter Styles, Director, Research Institute for Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics and immediate Past-President of the Geological Society of London, was part of a team from the Society accrediting geoscience degrees at King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
King Abdul Aziz University, with 65,000 students, is the largest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and as the economy is underpinned by hydrocarbon and minerals resources, Geosciences are considered a very important component of their curriculum and constitute a whole faculty.
Accreditation of UK geoscience science degrees by the Geological Society was initiated while Professor Styles was Secretary of the Society (1996 to 2000) and international academic institutions are now turning to the GSL to accredit their degrees, with this being seen as the Gold Standard for course comparability, student degree results and University Geoscience teaching.
Professor Styles, who has worked extensively in the Middle East, also gave two lectures; one on Chartership and its importance to the Geological Profession and the second on the use of microgravity for the detection of natural cavities and collapse features. Discussions held with the Faculty and the Saudi Arabian Geological Survey should lead to future collaborative research programmes.