[Washington, DC] – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz announced a record budget of expenditures for FY 2010, totaling more than $146 billion, with more than a quarter of the funds designated for education. The FY 2010 educational funding represents a 13% increase over FY 2009.
“The allocation of SR137.6 billion ($36.7 billion) for education and training emphasizes the government’s desire to invest in Saudi citizens, considering human development as the core of real development,” said Dr. Ali Al-Attiyah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education.
The Education Ministry’s FY 2010 budget is set to fund the King Abdullah Project for Development of Public Education, the creation of 1,200 new schools and the completion of more than 3,000 school buildings already under construction. The Ministry of Higher Education’s budget includes funding for the construction of four new universities and the expansion of existing ones, increasing student enrollments at institutes of higher learning and scholarship programs abroad. Currently, the Saudi government offers more than 60,000 scholarships to Saudi students around the world. The record budget will also include funds to sponsor 5,000 additional students to study abroad in 2010 as part of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program.
“Our commitment to offering the best possible education to all of our citizens to prepare them to succeed in a 21st century economy remains steadfast, and is reflected in the budgetary considerations we’ve made for the next year,” said Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.
The size and quality of the Saudi education system continues to grow to meet the demands of a growing population and a diversifying economy. The Kingdom’s ratio of 15 students to every teacher is one of the lowest in the world.