Published on 23/02/2024
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British Council and Saudi Arabia delegates visit
  • British Council delegation from Saudi Arabia met with University leadership about its research centres in AI and Digital Futures
  • The focus was on building partnerships and research collaborations between Aston and Saudi universities
  • There were senior officials from Saudi Electronic, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Um Al-Qura and Najran as well as Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University.

Aston University has welcomed the British Council to its campus in Birmingham to discuss its research in artificial intelligence (AI) and digital futures.

The visit also focused on building partnerships and research collaborations between Aston and Saudi universities, with senior officials from Saudi Electronic, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Um Al-Qura and Najran as well as Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in attendance.

The main event featured an expert panel with talks from Aston University’s Zi Yang, Paul Jones, Felipe Campelo, Hassan Aqeel Khan, Bogdan Adamyk, Muhammed Imran, Victor Chang and Donato Masi, discussing AI, big data and health.

This was followed by a networking event in Conference Aston, before delegates were taken on a tour of Aston University’s facilities including visits to the Aston Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE) research facility and the Robotic Lab.

The day concluded with a partnerships and collaborations discussion led by Dr Keith Schofield and the senior international team, with Digital Futures Institute director, Professor Abdul Sadka, joining the conversation.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said:

“I would like to thank the British Council and our Saudi Arabian guests for attending this important event.

“At Aston University, we are excited about working with our partners across this global network focused on technology innovation and in particular AI and data science. 

“We are establishing Aston University as a global innovation hub in the Midlands to access and share world experiences and best practices and facilitate intercultural awareness among our students and staff. 

“It is one of the key pillars of our 2030 strategy that defines Aston University as an inclusive, entrepreneurial and transformational university.”

Notes to Editors

Saudi Arabia universities representatives

Saudi Electronic University:

H.E. Dr Mohammed Mardi, President of the university
Dr Ahmed Al Ahmadi, Vice Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research
Dr Mohammed Al-Ruwaili, Advisor to the President for International Cooperation
Dr Nisreen Farha, Dean of Graduate Studies, Research and Innovation
Mr Mohammed Al Hmood, Executive Director of the President's Office



Najran University

Dr Abdullah Assiri, head of international collaboration and scholarships


Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University:

Dr Manal Alohaly, Dean of Computer Science


Dr Reem Alharbi, Dean of Medicine

Dr Alaa Alluhaidan, Dean of Quality & Development

Dr Maali Alabdulhafith, Dean of Libraries & Scientific Research

Dr Noha Alessa, Director of International Partnerships Unit

Dr Mohammed Al Ghamdi, Dean of Computer Sciences


Um Al-Qura University:

Dr Amer Al-Zaidi, Vice Rector for Educational Affairs


Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University:

Dr Abdullah Al Barrak, Vice Dean of Computer Sciences and Information


Dr Mohammed Naji Al Yamani, Director of International Cooperation

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email:

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Sue Smith,
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Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


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Press and Communications Manager


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