With plans to change the face of education and bring to Kuwait the endless possibilities that come with academia, Prof. Khalid Al-Begain has set a new standard at the Kuwait College of Science and Technology (KCST). Not only has Prof. Khalid secured that KCST recieve technichal and academic support from IIT, but has also affiliated the university with the prestigious Japanese academic institution, Kanagawa Institute of Technology. This marks the beginning of his new-found journey. Holding two patents to his name, one of which has turned into a fully-fledged company, Prof. Khalid is superbly well-rounded and versed in the world of technological advancements. One of his patents – known now as My Lifeguard – is a surveillance company with a mobile application that puts the user in charge of their own surveillance. “This was created back in 2005 with a PhD student of mine long before the time of smartphones!” Prof. Khalid explained. We got the chance to sit with the very first president at KCST to find out more about his vision for future students.
As the first president of KCST – what do you want prospective students to know?
It’s always a privilege, and a huge challenge, to be the first president of a university. Any academic would have dreamed of being in a position like this. I’ve been preparing for this role over the span of ten years now, because I believe that I’ve gained enough experience throughout my time in academia and achieved a lot with my research as well as trained for managerial work. A combination of these three factors has ignited in me the vision to create an institution that provides engineering degrees but with leadership capabilities. This, is what I want prospective students to know. That they will be getting the education and foundation from a university that produces leaders.
Where do you see KCST going?
KCST is in a special and privileged situation. As a private university that started with a strong foundation due to its offered programs – they’re all very strong engineering programs based on a very respected and internationally recognized curriculum designed by experts from IIT. The founders asked me to lead the process of establishing this university, alongside all my highly respected colleagues here, with a vision for KCST. This entails developing a university with supremely high standards and quality of teaching with a strong emphasis on research, strong student support, and of course, aiming to become the strongest private university in Kuwait and the region. We’re all working very hard to achieve this goal – and expanding beyond the three programs we currently have to offer prospective students.
As the Director of CEMAS at the University of South Wales, how do you see the opportunities for KCST students in conjunction with CEMAS?
The idea behind CEMAS – the Center of Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services – is based on an idea I had in 2008 to make the University of South Wales not only a base for education and teaching, but also for innovation. CEMAS provides the staff the opportunity to engage students with the industry and its innovation as well as developing high impact products that are closely related to what consumers need. Dealing with 170 companies through CEMAS, 70 projects have been turned into award-winning products that are considered the first of their kind. What we hope for, as we grow KCST, is to bring in the same concept to embed innovation into our processes. Whether it’s teaching or research, we aim to provide our students with special experiences.
To date, what do you see is your most valued accomplishment?
First of all, I have to say my family, of course! I have three beautiful and intelligent boys – two of whom are in university and one is still in school. But on a professional level, it’s the number of important and prestigious positions I still hold in conjunction with being the President of KCST. I’m the President of the European Council on Modeling and Simulation, which is a very significant scientific organization in Europe and I’m very proud to be organizing our 30th conference this year in Germany. I also acted as an expert witness on major international court cases on the topic of technology – which is a very unique opportunity for any academic to work on court cases like the Nokia vs HTC case amongst others. My biggest achievement and most valued accomplishment to date would have to be a combination of everything I’ve done – I can’t just name one because I’m very proud of all of them.
KCST is located in Doha, off of the 7th Ring Road. Visit www.kcst.edu.kw or call 2497 2970, 2497 2826, 9929 8626 for more information. Follow @KCST.KW on Instagram. For more information on Prof. Khalid Al-Begain make sure to check out his LinkedIn profile here.