Sheffield's Vice-Chancellor joins PM for Gulf visit

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Keith Burnett, flew out with the Prime Minister this week for his visit to Saudi Arabia. Professor Burnett accompanied Mr Brown for the first part of his tour of the Gulf, which included a visit to King Saud University.

The University of Sheffield has a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia and has been a leading partner in the development of the Kingdom's academic elite through its scholarship programmes. Sheffield alumni are to be found in senior positions in academia and industry across a wide range of disciplines.

In the new King Abdullah Scholarship Programme the University will continue to build a special relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education to provide educational opportunities to significant numbers of aspiring Saudi students. The high status of its engineering faculty (third in the UK) and its ranking in world league tables (77^th in the Times Higher 2008) make the University a partner of choice, not only for Saudi Arabia, but for countries across the Gulf region.

During his visit to the Kingdom, Professor Burnett was able to develop the research alignment between the University and Saudi Arabia as many of the region's key priorities, such as sustainability, nanotechnology and waste management are also fields in which the University enjoys world-leading expertise.

Professor Burnett said: "For many years the University of Sheffield has hosted excellent Saudi students who have chosen the University for the outstanding quality of its education and also for the level of support provided to them. I am delighted to accompany the Prime Minister on his visit and we look forward to an ongoing collaboration with the Saudi government in the field of Higher Education."

For further information please contact: Lindsey Bird, Media Relations Manager, on 0114 2225338 or email l.bird@sheffield.ac.uk