Enrichment for All!


About WEP 

The Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) is a two-week program unlike any other. Designed and produced by KAUST, WEP takes place during an interlude in the academic semester in January. It encourages students, the KAUST community, and guests to step out of their daily routines and into a curated program of expansive thinking. Our theme changes annually and is chosen collaboratively, with input from students, faculty, community members, alumni, and industrial partners. This collaboration, from students to industry professionals to community members, means we are uniquely placed to tackle global problems.

The University is involved in this exciting program, which features keynote lectures, workshops and courses, distinguished lectures, exhibitions, science fairs, entrepreneurship programs, and more. Since 2010, WEP has proudly hosted Nobel laureates, CEOs, ministers, elite athletes, academics from leading universities, eminent international speakers, artists, and distinguished local and regional leaders and decision-makers.

Since 2010...

1,500 speakers

1,880 events

3,220 students

122,000 visitors

+1 million online audience

Our Values

Creativity and excellence

Enrichment and inspiration




WEP for Students

WEP is a two-week mandatory program specially designed to inspire students to be creative and to think outside the box. While the program themes differ from year - to - year, it must include both technical and artistic components. WEP requires students to experience fields far different from their own, which helps them to understand how their work is connected to the problems around them. It shows them how they can impact others and how others can impact them, often in surprising ways.

How We Choose Our Themes 

WEP's theme is different from one year to another. It is built in collaboration with KAUST students, faculty, community members, alumni, and industrial partners who are invited to submit proposals each year. During a very competitive selection process, the WEP Review Committee, chaired by the WEP Chair, considers the scientific and technological aspects of the proposals, as well as their enriching and inspiring nature. KAUST students must register for WEP once during their degree studies.

In line with KAUST's mission to be a source of inspiration and innovative thinking for aspiring scientists, academics, scholars, and entrepreneurs, both nationally and internationally, the Chair of the program, together with the Enrichment Office, strives to choose a stimulating theme that opens new perspectives to the future.

Previous themes:

  • International Year of Chemistry
  • International Year of Light
  • Pulse Food
  • Sustainability and Climate Change
  • Big Marine Animals on the Move
  • Food for All
  • Pushing the Limits:  Challenging Engineering & Science
  • Pioneers
  • Human-Machine Future
  • City of the Future
  • TIME
  • Connectivity
  • Resilience
  • EDGE - Transform the world you know

Credits for Students

All students (MS & Ph.D.) must participate in the KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) for credits once during their studies at KAUST.

Credits will only be granted during a single WEP program, and students must register for 30 credit offerings and all mandatory sessions.

Students must complete the attendance requirements for WEP to graduate. 


WEP 2024

KAUST's 2024 Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) will be chaired by Professor Xin Gao and co-chaired by Professor Michael Berumen. Next year's WEP will run from January 7 to 18, 2024.