Sun Microsystems Announce First Education Initiative in Jeddah in partnership with King Abdulaziz University

Published July 6th, 2006 - 01:33 GMT

With an aim to impart quality education in information technology, Sun Microsystems signed an initiative with the King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah today.  As per this initiative, Sun will call on their longstanding academic heritage to drive skills development in Information Technology at KAU, one of the oldest academic institutions in Saudi Arabia, and work together towards the development of a Sun Centre of Excellence to develop eGovernment applications developed on the Sun platform and technologies.

Operating in one of the most conducive market for the growth and development of IT and software, Sun Academic Initiative (SAI) will be able to help KAU students leverage a pre-defined, globally recognised program and enable them to get a hands-on experience of the state-of-art technologies and build competitive IT skills. Making the full range of over 130 online training programs available through this initiative, could introduce students to Sun Microsystems technologies such as Java, allowing them to arm themselves with industry-leading certification, and equipping them with marketable IT job skills.

“As one of the biggest markets in the Middle East, the country has seen a steady increase in demand for talent to serve the region’s growing IT sector. Being one of the premier academic institutes in Saudi Arabia, it has been our endeavour to equip our students with the best in education so that our students are equipped to face the challenges of the work place once they step into the real world. We are working closely with Sun Microsystems to look at ways to ensure our students are abreast with the latest innovation and development taking place globally,” said Abdulrahman bin Obaid Al-Yubi, Vice Chancellor of King Abdulaziz University.

As part of the initiative, Sun Microsystems’ academic support programs can equip the University with a prototype lab to demonstrate how the department could move to a thin client desktop environment, reducing the maintenance, upgrades and operational costs of a traditional desktop environment in a heavy traffic area such as a University. This would remove clutter from desks, freeing up space in a crowded department, as it essentially means that each monitor is wired to a small hub which communicates with a central server acting as a shared desktop computer.  The University could also leverage a Sun Edusoft Software Package, which will enable the IT department to upgrade its existing IT lab, improving services for all students.

“Innovation and fast-paced development in technology today has cut down all communications barriers and has made it possible for people across the globe to access, connect and enhance their skill over the internet,” said Chris Cornelius, managing director, Sun Microsystems Middle East and North Africa.  “In partnering with educational institutions, Sun is working hard to expand opportunities among the local youth and engage them in developing their IT skills, thereby eliminating the digital divide and building a strong foundation in technology among the youth in Saudi Arabia.”

Driving knowledge transfer and skills development is critical in the Kingdom, and partnering with global industry specialists gives the team at the University a head start. As the University moves towards its 30th year as one of the premier academic establishments in the Kingdom, this initiative with Sun Microsystems will ensure that there are skilled IT professionals amongst their next crop of graduates.

Photo Caption: Abdulrahman bin Obaid Al-Yubi, Vice Chancellor of King Abdulaziz University signs with Chris Cornelius, MD, Sun Microsystems.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

About King Abdulaziz University
King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and has more than 2,000 teachers and more than 65,000 students. Established initially as a private university, King AbdulAziz University was converted to a state university in the 1970s.



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