Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today laid the foundation stone of the Taif campus of a new college affiliated to Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah.
In his address, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khaled Al-Anqary commented that the event reflects the government's concern to serve the increasing numbers of undergraduates and adapt to the developing labor markets, both government and private. Over the past three years, he said, a number of new colleges have opened, notably a medical college in Madinah and another in Al-Qassim, a college of pharmacy and a college of computer sciences at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, and an engineering college in Abha. Colleges of science have been set up in Taif, Abha, Al-Qassim and Al-Hasa. Others include a college of dentistry and one for applied medical sciences in Dammam, a college for environmental architecture and one for home economics in Jeddah, and a college of linguistics and translation in Riyadh. Over ten thousand undergraduates are in the process of enrolling in some 80 diploma programs, each ranging from one to two-and-half years, in a variety of specializations, including laboratory work, x-rays, physiotherapy, computer science, satellite networks, telecommunications, secretarial services, and marketing.
Dr. Al-Anqary announced that more colleges will open next year, including a college of applied sciences in Al-Jouf and a community college in Hail. In addition, about six thousand students over the past three years have benefited from scholarships overseas. Meanwhile, he added, plans for 26 new private universities have been approved, in addition to the two recently established. The Council of Ministers has order the granting of soft loans, land, and a variety of incentives to investors in this field.