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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Universities offer enough places, says Al-Anqari

P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News

JEDDAH: Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari said yesterday the new universities opened in different parts of the Kingdom would help accommodate more students, including those who have already joined foreign universities.

“The new universities offer enough number of places for Saudi students who wish to complete higher education in the Kingdom,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the minister as saying.

Al-Anqari said the standard of many programs offered by some private universities abroad was not up to the mark. “In light of these findings we have decided to advise our students not to join such universities,” he added.

The minister also spoke about plans to restructure the teacher training colleges in accordance with labor market requirements. “The Higher Education Council has already taken a decision in this respect and it covers 100 colleges,” he said.

Saudi Arabia opened 12 new universities and several colleges in different parts of the country over the past four years as part of efforts to achieve balanced development in all its regions. This has raised the number of government-run universities in the Kingdom to 20. The government recently approved two new private universities: Dar Al-Hekma in Jeddah and Dar Al-Uloom in Riyadh.

Last year Al-Anqari signed a number of contracts worth more than SR1.23 billion to establish higher education institutions in various parts of the Kingdom.

Al-Anqari will officiate the annual ceremony for the distribution of Prince Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Sudairy Prize for Educational Excellence at Khalediya Ranch in Ghat today.

Fahd Al-Sudairy, chairman of the prize committee, said 102 outstanding students and teachers in Ghat, Majma and Zulfi would be honored during the ceremony. Established in February 1989, the prize is given to students who score top marks in final examinations at all levels.

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