Saudi Arabia funds mass expansion of Caribbean education

The Saudi Fund for Development on Wednesday signed an agreement worth $80 million to finance the expansion of the University of the West Indies in Antigua and Barbuda.

It was signed by CEO Sultan Al-Marshad and Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

The agreement aims to develop the higher education sector, promote scientific innovation and add extra educational facilities.

Students, locals and officials watched the signing of the deal at the university’s headquarters.

The university’s capacity will rise from 600 to 5,000 students a year with the construction of seven buildings designed for energy conservation. The expansion will allow new intakes from Antigua and Barbuda and its Caribbean neighbors.

Browne praised the development efforts of Saudi Arabia through the SFD, and said the project would improve the education sector in his country and across the region.

Al-Marshad said that the fund wanted to expand its operations in the Caribbean.

“Signing the agreement is in light of the fund’s awareness that good education is a noble message, human requirement and part of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.