About WEP

What is the Winter Enrichment Program?

 About WEP 

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 Lecture Series, and Recreational. The Program hosts KAUST speakers, eminent international guest speakers, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, academics, as well as 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. 

WEP for Students

WEP is a two-week mandatory program specially designed to inspire the students to be creative. While the program themes differ from a year - to - year, it must include both technical and artistic components. WEP requires students to experience fields far different from their own, which helps them to understand how their work is connected to the problems around them. It shows them how they can impact others and how others can impact them, often in surprising ways.

How we choose our Themes 

WEP's theme is different from one year to another and is built in collaboration with KAUST students, faculty, community members, alumni, and industrial partners, who are invited to submit proposals each year. During a very competitive selection process, the WEP Review Committee, chaired by the WEP Chair, considers the scientific and technological aspects of the proposals, as well as their enriching and inspiring nature. KAUST students must register for WEP once during their degree studies.

In line with KAUST mission to be a source of inspiration and innovative thinking for aspiring scientists, academics, scholars, and entrepreneurs, both nationally and internationally, the Chair of the Program, together with the Enrichment Office, strives to choose a stimulating theme that opens new perspectives to the future.

Previous themes:

  • International Year of Chemistry
  • International Year of Light
  • Pulse Food
  • Sustainability and Climate Change
  • Big Marine Animals on the Move
  • Food for All
  • Pushing the Limits:  Challenging Engineering & Science
  • Pioneers
  • Human-Machine Future
  • City of the Future
  • TIME
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Connectivity

Students for Credits

All students (MS & Ph.D.) have to participate in the KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) for credits once during their studies at KAUST.

Credits will only be granted during a single WEP program, and students must register for 30 credit offerings and all mandatory keynote lectures.

Students who do not complete their attendance requirements for WEP do not graduate.

WEP 2021 'Connectivity'

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.

Over 240,300 people watched our events online through KAUST's Facebook and YouTube channels, 42,000 people engaged with us on social media, and the WEP 2021 posts had a total of 2,300,000 impressions on social media.


WEP 2022

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.


 10 Years of Keynote Lectures

Have a look at the book and learn more about the Office of Enrichment Programs and our keynote speakers.

Stay tuned!

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