Lincoln College closes two Saudi Arabia schools, two years after winning £250m contract

Lincoln College International has closed two of its three college institutions in Saudi Arabi just two years after winning a £250 million contract to deliver education and training.

The college agreed to establish three colleges in 2014 as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Colleges of Excellence programme, which aimed to set up 100 colleges.

Lincoln College’s Vice Principal and Deputy Chief Executive Ian Sackree and Principal and Chief Executive John Allen officially signing the contract with representatives from Colleges of Excellence and the Human Resources Development Fund.

Lincoln College’s Vice Principal and Deputy Chief Executive Ian Sackree and Principal and Chief Executive John Allen officially signing the contract with representatives from Colleges of Excellence and the Human Resources Development Fund.

Lincoln College was among 12 potential providers to bid for a wave of 26 colleges, with each provider being offered five-year contracts.

The group gained responsibility of Lincoln Al Aflaj Female College of Excellence (LAFCE), Lincoln Al Aflaj Male College of Excellence (LAMCE) and Lincoln Al Muzahmiya College of Excellence (LMMCE)

The college initially set out to employ 100 members of staff for the three colleges, the majority of whom from the UK.

Due to what it’s described as “student recruitment challenges” the two Al Aflaj colleges have been closed.

Photo: Lincoln College

Photo: Lincoln College

Photo: Lincoln College

Photo: Lincoln College

A Lincoln College International spokesperson said: “Lincoln College International (LCI) constantly reviews its overseas operations in order to enhance the social value it adds and maximise returns on its investments.

“After one year of operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) our female college at Al Qatief has performed extremely well.

“This success was being offset by our two colleges in Al Aflaj, which were underperforming, largely due to the recruitment challenges associated with their rural location.

Lincoln Qatief Female College will remain open, whilst the other colleges have been closed. Photo: Lincoln College

Lincoln Qatief Female College will remain open, whilst the other colleges have been closed. Photo: Lincoln College

“After positive negotiations with Colleges of Excellence (CoE), a decision to close the Al Aflaj schools was made, enabling LCI to focus on building on its success in Al Qatief.

“We remain committed to our partnership with CoE and our offering in the Kingdom, which remains part of our long-term international strategy.”

At full capacity, Lincoln College’s three institutions would have housed 825 Saudi students, including 275 women.