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 a total of 1,800 events, invited 1,430 international and in-Kingdom speakers, and attracted a cumulative audience of 115,000 attendees. Many of the events are available online on YouTube.
A selection of past keynote speakers includes 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.
Watch the feature videos of WEP and learn more about WEP 2020 'Personalized Medicine'
The University's second TEDx event took place on Saturday, August 31, 2019. TEDxKAUST featured six inspiring speakers, including faculty, staff, students, and community members, and was sponsored by the Office of Enrichment Programs. The theme, Driving Force, focused on pioneering, inspiring ideas by exceptional individuals in their communities. The talks presented aimed at encouraging our audience and viewers to unleash their potential for the betterment of the world. More information about the next TEDxKAUST event will be available soon.
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.