King Abdullah Approves Plan to Upgrade Public Libraries

August 2, 2011

[Washington, DC] — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz approved plans last week to upgrade public libraries in Saudi Arabia through the King Abdullah Project for the Development of Public Libraries. The plan includes updating and digitalizing more than 80 public libraries throughout the Kingdom over five years.

“This project exemplifies Saudi Arabia’s commitment to its people to expand and improve educational opportunities,” said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. “This will increase access to educational resources across the Kingdom.”

To support Saudi Arabia’s continued growth and the needs of a growing youth population, the government allocates about 25 percent of its annual budget to education initiatives. Today, there are 24 public universities, nearly 30 private universities and colleges and more than 26,000 primary schools, with more construction of educational institutions planned in the coming years. Some five million students are now enrolled in the education system. The system is open to all citizens, and provides students with free education, books and health services.

To complement domestic education programs, King Abdullah has also found ways to allow Saudi youth to experience the best universities the world has to offer through its King Abdullah Scholarship Program. The program provides qualified students the opportunity to attend colleges and universities around the world. The Saudi government has offered scholarships to more than 120,000 students worldwide.

For more information on Saudi Arabia’s education initiatives please visit www.saudiembassy.net or follow the Embassy on Twitter @SaudiEmbassyUSA.

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