KAUST's Office of Enrichment Programs was created as a way to draw faculty, students, staff, partners, collaborators, and community members out of their daily routines and into a curated program of expansive thinking. The programs are shaped to educate, inspire, enrich, and contribute to the community, the Kingdom, and the world.
Under the umbrella of the VP for Academic Affairs, the Office of Enrichment Programs produces and delivers the two-week-long hallmark event at KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP), TEDx KAUST, and the Artists-in-Labs programs. The Office of Enrichment Programs puts on events designed to enrich and inspire participants through lectures, workshops, entrepreneurial, cultural, and recreational activities that are not typically found in academic programs.
Since 2010, the Office has produced 1,800 events, invited 1,500 international and in-Kingdom speakers, 3,220 students attended WEP for credits, and attracted a cumulative audience of 122,000 attendees. Many of the events are available online on YouTube.
A selection of past keynote speakers includes Abdullah Al-Swaha, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Gabriel Leung, Prof. Helen, and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health University of Hong Kong, Abdullatif A. Al Othman, Governor, and Chairman of the Board of the SAGIA, Dirk Ahlborn, CEO at Hyperloop, Carolyn Porco, Imaging Science Team Leader of the NASA Cassini Mission, artist Theo Jansen, and Kip Thorne, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Caltech, Lando Norris, McLaren Formula 1 driver, or IBM Vice President for healthcare & Life Sciences Ajay Royyuru.
The annual Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) is one of the hallmarks of KAUST. WEP is a two- week program whose primary purpose is to enrich and inspire the University's students and KAUST community members, as well as academic and industrial partners and guests who are all invited to join. KAUST students must register for WEP once during their degree studies.
The whole University becomes involved in one of the most exciting programs of the year, including lectures, courses, workshops, seminars, field trips, and special events in the main categories of Academic, Personal & Professional Development, Cultural, Keynote Lectures, and Recreational. The Program hosts eminent international guest speakers, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, academics, as well as KAUST speakers and distinguished local and regional leaders and decision-makers.
The KAUST community drives WEP, and the success of each Program depends upon the enthusiasm and creativity of everyone who submits proposals.
Digital evolution is the phenomenon of our age. We are always "on," "wired" together in our global village. This universal connectivity goes from the tangible to the intangible and from the nanoscale to the mega scale. WEP 2021 Connectivity explored all this and much more from January 10 to 21. The lectures and panel discussions are open to all as on-demand videos available on KAUST's YouTube and Facebook channels.
WEP 2021 'Connectivity' was a global virtual event Chaired by Professor Khaled N. Salama and co-Chaired by Associate Professor Peiying Hong that connected over 70 speakers from all over the world with the audience.
During 'Connectivity', more than 400 KAUST students attended WEP for credits, and a cumulative audience of 7,000 people registered to attend our 75 events through our platform. H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha - Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and Information Technology - and our president Tony Chan opened WEP. It was closed with a KAUST announcement from H.E. Khalid Al-Falah - Saudi Arabia's Minister of Investment - and an intimate live performance by the artist James Blunt.
WEP 2022 will return from January 9-20 and will be Chaired by Associate Professor Peiying Hong. The theme of WEP 2022 will be announced soon.
We are thrilled to announce that the next TEDxKAUST event will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021, under the theme True Grit. True Grit is a student-led event sponsored by the Enrichment Office. Grit is the sustained application of effort towards a long-term goal. It is the most significant predictor of lifelong achievement. Find out more about the idea behind its theme and the organizing committee.
Watch the TEDxKAUST talks of 2019
As part of KAUST Academic Affairs, the Enrichment's Office mission is to enhance the students' experience and to expand their horizons, as well as to enrich the broad community.
Art is a source of inspiration for innovative science and vice versa. Immersing oneself inside the creative world of a painter, listening to music, or the mere act of experiencing something different than the ordinary can result in innovative new scientific ideas. For that reason, the Enrichment Office has organized more than 580 cultural events and invited more than 220 artists to KAUST since 2010.
To connect arts and science, the KAUST Enrichment Office produces since 2018 the artists-in-labs Program in collaboration with the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS) at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). The third season of the Artists-in-labs residency exchange will take place in April with Saudi artist Ahmed Mater at ETH Zurich University in Switzerland.
Learn more about the artists-in-labs program
10 Years of Keynote Lectures
Have a look at the book and learn more about the Office of Enrichment Programs and our keynote speakers.