'Partner' is not the word

October 1, 2009

Your article on the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) ("Saudi Arabia begins putting minds to challenges of future", 24 September) states that the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford are among its "academic partners".

In fact, Oxford merely accepted a grant to its Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics. Cambridge was approached with a $10 million (£6.3 million) donation to support teaching and research, and its School of the Biological Sciences is helping KAUST with its academic recruitment.

KAUST does not claim "special academic partnerships" with any British university, let alone these two. Such arrangements should not be entered into without fierce attention to the implications.

G.R. Evans, Cambridge.

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