Prince Sultan University, Saudi Arabia

"Allowing us to build our own capacity here at PSU will really help cement the importance of teaching and innovation within our teaching staff"


Prince Sultan University, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is a private university funded by Riyadh Philanthropic Society for Sciences. Initially, it was founded as Prince Sultan Private College in 1999 and received university status in 2003. Prince Sultan University aims to provide the Middle East with a quality education to the highest international standards.

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The Brief

Prince Sultan University (PSU) decided to establish a robust professional development scheme for faculty staff. The HEA provided them with a range of options for setting up their own HEA-accredited professional development programme.

Our approach

It was agreed that the HEA and PSU would implement a three year programme of work to pioneer innovative and creative teaching across Saudi Arabia. The programme of work involves:

  • The development of a Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice (PCAP); a bespoke certificate aligned with the UKPSF but specially adapted to meet the needs of PSU.
  • Piloting the PCAP with a select group of PSU staff. The aim is to build internal staff development capacity with the expectation that this first group of PCAP participants can then deliver the programme to their colleagues in future years.
  • Assessing the capability of these initial PCAP participants to deliver the Certificate to colleagues with a view to PSU ultimately running the PCAP independently and with minimal HEA support.
  • Supporting PSU towards obtaining official HEA accreditation of the PCAP.

Agreed outcomes

By the end of the initial three-year partnership (end 2017), our agreed outcomes are:

  • The establishment of a professional certificate for faculty staff that is aligned to the UKPSF, a market-leading professional standards framework.
  • A cohesive and vibrant network of PSU staff with fine-tuned accreditor skills, understanding and capability to operate their own PCAP with minimum HEA assistance.
  • A successful and well-run professional development certificate that may subsequently be submitted for official HEA accreditation.
  • A clear set of principles and procedures that will raise the professional standards of PCU faculty staff


“We believe the project with the HEA will provide our staff with a great platform for their professional development. Allowing us to build our own capacity here at PSU will really help cement the importance of teaching and innovation within our teaching staff.”

Dr Alia Mitchell, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, Prince Sultan University


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