Saudi Arabia to set up new scientific colleges

Move is part of $714m contracts to improve higher education choices for young Saudis

(Image for illustrative purposes)

(Image for illustrative purposes)

Saudi Arabia on Sunday said it has signed contracts worth SR2.68bn ($714m) to establish a number of new scientific colleges and improve facilities at universities in the Gulf kingdom.

Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, the Minister of Higher Education, said the contracts included the setting up of scientific colleges in Umm Al-Qura University, Jazan University, Shaqra University, Taif University and Dammam University.

Saudi Press Agency reported that the deals would also include the completion of "major infrastructures" in King Saud University, Majma'ah University, Shaqra University and Qassim University.

Al-Anqari said the signing of contracts was the second phase of education projects launched by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud last year.

The first phase involved the development of more than 16 university cities with investment totalling SR81bn, SPA added.

Saudi Arabia said in 2010 it would allocate $533m to overhaul facilities at the kingdom’s universities, in addition to signing deals with foreign education providers to open up opportunities for national students to study abroad.

The move comes as part of the Gulf kingdom's plan to better educate its citizens and better prepare them for the workplace.

Around 90 percent of Saudis in work are employed by the government, while 90 percent of jobs in private companies are filled by around 8 million foreigners.

Expatriates tend to fill higher-paying technical roles for which many Saudis lack the experience, and very low-paying jobs that many Saudis see as menial.

In January, Labour Minister Adel al-Fakeih said the conservative Islamic kingdom needed to create 3 million jobs for Saudi nationals by 2015 and 6 million jobs by 2030, partly through the "Saudisation" of work now being done by expatriates.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Investing in the next generation: the value of Gulf education

Investing in the next generation: the value of Gulf education

Developers tired of traditional real estate assets are turning...

GCC's class act threatened by teacher shortages

GCC's class act threatened by teacher shortages

A global shortage of school teachers is particularly hurting...

Educating business minds

Educating business minds

University of Wollongong is one of a number of institutions helping...

Most Discussed