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Saudi Electronic University Adopts Blackboard eLearning Solutions

Strategic Decision to Expand Distance Teaching and Learning

Jul 26, 2012

RIYADH – July 26, 2012 – Saudi Electronic University (SeU), the first government e-university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected Blackboard as a strategic partner to support their eLearning requirements. The announcement was made today by Blackboard Inc., a global leader in education technology, and its local partner, BME Holding S.A.L. (BME).

Following a formal and extensive evaluation process, which included functional assessment and review of vendors, SeU concluded that Blackboard Learn™, Blackboard’s flagship learning management system (LMS), is the most flexible and effective learning platform to meet their needs.

SeU found Blackboard solutions to offer advanced functionality and significantly enhanced collaborative learning opportunities compared to competing vendors. Executives at SeU determined that Blackboard solutions would be easier to implement and manage than the alternatives based on the company’s strong and proven product support and well-organized, global user community.

The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in Saudi Arabia recognizes that distance learning is critical to the future success of Saudi education expansion and quality. With the creation of SeU, the MOHE will work with the existing Saudi universities to centralize distance learning study programs into a single organization. SeU has a target to enroll 6,000 students for its initial launch phase.

SeU officials found Blackboard Learn to be the best suited LMS to support the institution’s long-term goals and support a diverse set of learners. By leveraging the online learning platform and Blackboard’s mobile and Web conferencing solutions, SeU will be able to provide a broad range of fully online, blended and traditional course offerings for students challenged by geography or who need flexibility around study hours.

The university will leverage the Blackboard MobileLearn solution to give students and faculty access to their course experience on mobile devices. Blackboard Collaborate™, the online Web conferencing and collaboration platform will give students and faculty more opportunities to interact virtually, and the Blackboard Connect™ platform will increase the effectiveness for alert notifications and community outreach.

Consultants from Blackboard joined leaders from SeU for a five-day, on-site workshop to review the short-term implementation plan of Blackboard solutions, align efforts with the university’s Strategic Plan and coordinate timing to make the solutions available to students in early September.

The university is planning to start receiving applications for admission on the sixth of Ramadan month in the below three colleges:
• College of Business Administration and Finance
• Faculty of Computing and Informatics
• Faculty of Health Sciences

More than 2,000 institutions have adopted the latest version of Blackboard Learn platform to take advantage of its improved stability and digital content advancements, social learning tools to drive student engagement and greater workflow efficiencies for instructors and administrators.

For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/International/EMEA/Overview.aspx.

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About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.