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In extension of a May 2010 general cooperation agreement between King Saud University and South Korea's Kookmin University last spring, a joint plan of action was formally approved in a signing ceremony attended by Korean and Saudi education officials. The agreement authorizes a Saudi-Korean project, which will develop systems for designing and manufacturing lightweight automobiles.

Dr. Alhussein pointed out that the two-year collaboration will include training for students of both universities on automobile engineering and manufacturing techniques, while he expressed confidence that the project will lead to the development of an ideal system to design lightweight, multi-purpose automobiles.

KSU International Twinning Program Supervisor Saad Alhussein stated that Kookmin University is an ideal partner for such a project, as it has an experienced Automotive Technology Research Institute and a Department of Automotive Engineering in its College of Engineering. He pointed out that KMU is familiar with this area of engineering, as Korean national policy emphasizes the development of lightweight vehicles as a  means of competitiveness in the international automative market.

The automotive program will provide systematic teaching and training in all domains of automotive engineering. Practical applications will be taught, yet creativity will also be crucial for developing environmentally-friendly cars that satisfy high standards of quality, safety and strength.

Established in 1946 and located in Seoul, Kookmin University (KMU) currently includes a student body of 22,000 students and approximately 400 faculty members. It boasts respected programs for automotive engineering, techno-design and law, while its Department of Automotive Engineering was established in 1992 and has quickly become one of three renowned engineering colleges in Korea. KMU's Graduate School of Automotive Engineering is Korea's only graduate school with such a specialization.

Based upon these credentials, Saudi institutes of higher learning, such as KSU, Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University, Al-Yamamah University, and the Saudi Cultural Mission in Korea are naturally enthusiastic about associating with KMU.

KMU and KSU, in particular, are well-matched for cooperation in the automotive sciences. KSU recently began producing Gazal 1, the first car to be produced in any Arab country, and perhaps the precursor to a succession of  rugged, reliable and robust cars, specifically tailored to suit the Saudi climate.

Those signing the agreement were King Saud University Rector Abdullah Al-Othman, Vice Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research Ali Al-Ghamdi, Twinning Program Director Alhussein and Korean project coordinator Zeid Al-Othman, while Saudi Arabian Minister of Higher Education Khalid Al-Angari presided over the ceremony.

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