By Ed Attwood
Lincoln College International shutters Al Aflaj colleges just two years after launch
Two Saudi colleges that were launched just two years ago have been closed after the British institute running the schools cited “recruitment challenges”.
Further education specialist Lincoln College International agreed a $350 million deal with Saudi Arabia’s Colleges of Excellence programme in 2014 to open Lincoln Al Aflaj Female College and Lincoln Al Aflaj College, about 300km south of Riyadh.
However, in statements on the two schools’ websites, Lincoln College International said that both sites would be closed at the end of this school term.
A third school launched as part of the agreement, Qatief Female College, based north of Dammam, will remain open.
A spokesperson for Lincoln College International told a local newspaper in the UK that the schools had underperformed “largely due to the recruitment challenges associated with their rural location”.
Lincoln College International was one of four British education providers to win contracts worth $1.4 billion to build 12 technical and vocational colleges in Saudi Arabia in April 2014.
Another of the contract winners was the Oxford Partnership, a consortium that includes Dubai-based GEMS Education, which is building four women’s colleges in northern Saudi Arabia.