King set to open Saudi Arabia's university for women

Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University includes its own 19km light rail transit system
King set to open Saudi Arabia's university for women
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will open the kingdoms university for women on Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 14 May 2011 02:50 PM

King Abdullah will on Sunday officially open the new SR20bn university city of Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman, the first exclusive campus for women.

The university in Riyadh is set for an intake of more than 50,000 women students and the campus has residences for 12,000 women students, 22 academic colleges and six medical colleges.

There is also a 700-bed university hospital, along with  two sports clubs, a conference centre, commercial centres, and primary, intermediate and secondary schools for boys and girls, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.    

The campus also has its own 19km train to transport students between facilities and rain channels and tunnels guarding against the threat of flooding.

Dr Huda Al-Ameel, the university's president, said facilities also included a research zone for King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology along with three research centres specialising in nano technology, information technology and biological sciences.

She added that the residential area included housing units for families of employees, accommodation for female students, two mosques and recreational facilities.

Back in 2008, Saudi Arabia launched a $3.1bn shake-up of its education system, designed to lift standards in the kingdom.

The move followed a report by the World Economic Forum on the competitiveness of world economies, in which education was singled out as an area for Saudi Arabia to develop.

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