JEDDAH: IRFAN MOHAMMED
Published — Thursday 9 May 2013
Last update 9 May 2013 4:38 am
The presence of bogus engineers in the Kingdom goes against ethics and a spirit of professionalism, said Abdullah Shahri, director for the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) in Makkah Province.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, he lashed out at unprofessional individuals who claimed they were engineers. The SCE was working to protect genuine and professional engineers in the Kingdom and was determined to weed out holders of fake degrees. He said engineers played a vital role in the country and professionalism must be maintained.
He said the SCE was evaluating the academic qualifications and practical experiences of those who worked in the engineering profession.
He said the SCE was creating professional records for each engineer, containing documents on his qualifying grades and his professional experiences and progress.
Shahri said that every engineer working in the Kingdom must be registered with the SCE. Without this membership an expatriate engineer can’t renew his residency permit (iqama).
The SCE system allows for four professional grades: engineer, associate engineer, professional engineer and consultant engineer. For architects there are four similar categories.
He explained that an engineer must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a four-year course. He should submit a yearly mark sheet for four years along with a copy of his passport and iqama, and a letter from his sponsor.
“Attaining qualifying points for the renewal of a membership in three years is important. An engineer has to obtain 80 points, associate and professional engineers need 60 points and consultant engineers 50 points,” said Shahri.
He said points are calculated according to the scientific and professional acquisitions of the engineer. It includes the qualifying points for all activities and tasks practiced by engineers such as academic qualification, professional grades, courses and training, employment ranks, membership in organizations and associations, scientific participation, conferences and seminars, engineering arbitration, engineering leadership, and other works.
The registration fee varies from one profession to another in the engineering field, starting from SR 1,250 to SR 2,800. Membership is valid for three years. After the first renewal the registration fee is less.
So far, the SCE has found 1,050 fake degrees among engineers in Saudi Arabia.
Engineers whose degrees were found forged came from the Philippines (317), India (178), Pakistan (92), Egypt (89), Syria (53), Jordan (44), Lebanon (44), Sudan (40), Palestine (35), Bangladesh (16), China (12), Yemen (12), France (10), South Korea (7), The UK (7), Sri Lanka (5), Turkey (4), the US (4) and Cyprus (3). There were also 29 Saudis holding a fake engineering degree.