2003 News Story

Minister comments on future of higher education

At a press conference today, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Angari commented on a number of issues, including processing graduates of secondary schools into the tertiary level and the Kingdom's future strategy for higher education. He confirmed that new colleges for technology, social sciences, and health, for both girls and boys, will accommodate a total of 57,000 students, and reported that the rate of admission into higher education institutions increased from 61 percent three years ago to 82 percent last year and 100 percent this year. The Ministry, he said, has devised a 25-year strategic plan, and SR 2.7 billion [U.S. $ 721 million] has been allotted for the urgent needs of the Kingdom's universities and colleges. Dr. Al-Angari added that about 400 Saudi students are currently on scholarships to study medicine overseas, in addition to the 1,700 who have been enrolled this year to study medicine in the Kingdom. Asked about the possibility of foreign universities opening branches in the Kingdom, he commented that in principle, foreign investment in private higher education is open, and that this could be worked out.