Saudi Arabia's $10-Billion Experiment Is Ready for Results

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology could become a global player—if it can find the right talent

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Kaust

Kaust’s campus functions as a mini-city and includes residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and social and recreational facilities. “You see the same number of people you would see in another place,” says Christian Voolstra , an assistant professor. It’s just that if you want to extend your social circle, “you have to take an airplane.”

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Kaust

Kaust’s campus functions as a mini-city and includes residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and social and recreational facilities. “You see the same number of people you would see in another place,” says Christian Voolstra , an assistant professor. It’s just that if you want to extend your social circle, “you have to take an airplane.”

Facing a beautiful cove on the Red Sea—about an hour and a half's drive from the town of Jeddah—King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is an anomaly many times over: a spectacular campus in the middle of nowhere; an international, co-ed institution in a gender-segregated society; and an aspiring world-class research graduate university created virtually overnight.

Kaust, as it is known, also faces a unique challenge. It must convince the world that through a