By Beatrice Thomas
King Abdullah reveals plans for the institutions in Jeddah, Bisha and Hafr Al Baten
Saudi King Abdullah has revealed plans to establish three new universities in Jeddah, Bisha and Hafr Al Baten – bringing the total number of public universities in the kingdom to 28, it was reported.
Higher Education Minister Khaled Al Anqari said King Abdulaziz University’s branches in north Jeddah, as well as the colleges in Khulais and Kamil, would be brought together under the new Jeddah University, which will have a total of 18 colleges and institutes, Arab News reported.
He said Bisha University will be formed by combining King Khaled University’s (KKU) branch in Bisha and other colleges in neighbouring principalities such as Namas, Balqarn, Sabt Al Ulya and Tathlith for a total 13 colleges.
The Hafr Al Baten University will be established by transforming the branches of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and Dammam University in Hafr Al Baten and nearby principalities such as Naeeriya and Al Khafji. It will have 12 colleges, Arab News reported.
Abdelelah Saaty, dean of the College of Business in Rabigh, was quoted as praising Saudi Arabia’s educational renaissance.
“Since (King Abdullah) ascended the throne in 2005, the number of government universities has risen from seven to 28. This is a big achievement,” he was quoted as saying.
He said Saudi Arabia required at least ten more universities within the next five years to meet the requirements of its growing population.
However, he also encouraged the ongoing practice of sending Saudis abroad for higher education to learn from the best practices of universities across the world.