LOWELL, Mass. – Raytheon Company and UMass Lowell announced today they will explore a first-of-its-kind educational partnership in Kuwait.
Executives from Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business and UMass Lowell leaders today signed a memorandum of understanding with leaders from Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) of Kuwait. It is the first step in what is hoped will become a partnership through which Raytheon and the university would establish undergraduate and master’s level degree programs at GUST’s campus. Kuwaiti students would have the opportunity to earn UMass Lowell and GUST degrees through programs of study overseen and taught by UMass Lowell administrators and faculty.
In 2013, UMass Lowell and Raytheon will explore the feasibility of the venture and which degrees will be offered. Academic programs are likely to include sciences, engineering and business, and will emphasize experiential learning, technological development and entrepreneurship. The goal is to help the Middle Eastern nation diversify its oil-focused economy. Kuwait is home to 3.5 million people and its major industries also include shipping, construction and related materials, water desalination and financial services.
“We are proud to partner with Raytheon to explore this unique opportunity. Kuwait is seeking to expand its economic base through innovation and technology, two of UMass Lowell’s strengths,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “Through this collaboration, there is the potential that Kuwaitis will have access to world-class education in fields like engineering and business to help their country forge a new future.”
As a global company that does business in more than 80 countries, Raytheon understands the importance of giving back to the communities and supporting the economies within them. Raytheon and Kuwait share a history spanning more than 20 years. Should plans advance, the partnership would provide the opportunity for Raytheon to invest in higher education and workforce development in Kuwait.
As one of the top 200 universities in the world, UMass Lowell is eligible to establish academic programs in Kuwait under that nation’s laws. This agreement is the latest in UMass Lowell’s efforts to expand its international presence to ensure graduates are world-ready by providing opportunities for academic and research experiences around the globe for students and faculty. Since 2009, the university has established more than 95 international partnerships with educational institutions in 40 nations. In the Middle East, UMass Lowell already has partnerships that include institutions in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. UMass Lowell is also home to the Center for Middle East Peace, Development and Culture.
“UMass Lowell believes that by providing world-class higher education opportunities in the Middle East, we will advance economic development and intercultural understanding. Under this proposal, UMass Lowell would partner with Raytheon and GUST to expand educational opportunities in Kuwait,” said UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Meehan and Sanjay Kapoor, vice president of Integrated Air & Missile Defense for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business, along with GUST President Shuaib Shuaib.
By working with GUST, the partners would be able to utilize an existing, modern campus as the site of its programs. GUST was established in 2002 through a partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.