We want to be great

“We want to be great”

Bridging social actor worlds for educational development in a gender segregated world

in Saudi Arabia


Carin Vijfhuizen and Corina Tautan

This is a non-fiction book and a case study. The book is about how we, the principal and acting vice principal worked for a Dutch Saudi training provider to establish and develop a female college in Saudi Arabia between August 2014 and September 2016. This project took place in the framework of a national College program for the development of technical and vocational education & training in Saudi Arabia.

We want to be great” was an exclamation of one of our students. The desire to be great did not only apply to students wanting great careers, but also to us who wanted to establish a great college. And it applied to the national college program holder who wanted a great educational program and to the Dutch Saudi training provider who wanted a great company in education & training. In this book, then, we elaborate and analyze how we were leading, that is bridging the different social actor worlds aiming to do a great job. We also show how we succeeded and failed in this journey.

This book is not only a story that applies to Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. The book is relevant internationally, because it provides unique examples of personal & institutional development and leadership. The willingness to learn is at the heart of this book and is, ultimately, at the heart of everyday life in any context worldwide.

By reading this book you:

1. Learn about leadership, personal and institutional development.
2. Understand about different educational and leadership cultures
3. Understand the impact of gender segregation
4. Obtain important insights in how to become great and do a great job

The book shows how learning and therefore capacity development is at the heart of all processes in daily life. It also shows that success and failure, or continuity and discontinuity, go hand in hand in daily life.

Publishing date

We will let you know the publishing date.
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