Scotland clinches Iran oil deal

July 19, 2002

Scottish Knowledge has signed a $1 million (£650,000) deal with the Iranian National Oil Company to modernise a petroleum institute, writes Alison Goddard.

Under the deal, Scottish universities will work with Kish University in Iran to refurbish its petroleum institute and identify which Scottish courses could be taught there.

The first students are due to start in a month's time. Up to 1,000 are expected to enrol.

The deal is the third new oil and gas project that Scottish Knowledge has been involved in during the past year. It is also developing a research link with the Petronas petroleum institute in Malaysia and a teaching link with the Indian School of Petroleum in Delhi.

Steve Beere, chief executive of Scottish Knowledge, said: "We have now had four consecutive years of growth in sales and turnover - doubling our turnover this year to £750,000 - with a record number of enrolments. We have 3,000 students, bringing the total number of students who have taken our distance or online courses to about 8,000 over the past four years."

Scottish Knowledge is owned by the 14 Scottish universities with colleges and commercial partners including THES publisher News International. It has been marketing Scottish distance learning since August 1997.

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