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Saudi university offers special exam to skip first year

(Photo courtesy: University of Jeddah)
Freshmen at the University of Jeddah who have shown an outstanding academic performance in high school will be able to skip the university preparatory year. (Photo courtesy: University of Jeddah)
JEDDAH: Freshmen at the University of Jeddah who have shown an outstanding academic performance in high school will be able to skip the university preparatory year.
The university, in cooperation with the National Center for Assessment (Qiyas), will start implementing the academic acceleration system as of the next academic year.
The acting president of the university, Dr. Adnan Al-Homaidan, told Arab News: “This is one of the advantages that our university will soon offer as part of its strategic program to attract talented students in order to help them continue the excellence they have started in their early school stages.”
He said he hoped that this would contribute to increasing competitiveness among students when joining the university. “It would also create an attractive and stimulating learning environment that it is hoped will develop their capabilities and excellence.”
Al-Homaidan stressed that the new program complies with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in terms of investing in young talents and using them as the most important resource in achieving development.
He explained that his university has recently inked an agreement with Qiyas, upon which the latter will prepare the necessary tests that measure the level of students in the scientific courses they had taken.
“Those who pass these tests will be eligible to join the program, which makes them legitimate in the second year,” he said. He pointed out that those tests would be available to all students once they are admitted to the university and found to meet the criteria for applying for the tests.
The general supervisor of the University of Jeddah’s department for adopting and sponsoring gifted students, Dr. Faisal Al-Ameri, told Arab News that the new system aims to expedite the talented students’ educational process.
“It also enables them to learn faster and progress in a way that suits their academic demands and unequaled learning abilities,” Al-Ameri said.
Al-Ameri added that the university is working on the operational guide for the academic grade-skipping system. “This will include the mechanism, conditions of admission and the eligibility to take the exams for the program. The selected students need to pass the Qiyas tests on math, physics, chemistry, biology and English,” he said.
He noted that other preparatory prerequisites, such as entrepreneurship skills and university study skills courses, would be offered to the gifted students in the form of evening training courses along their first year of college.
The supervisor, who sees the program as “a qualitative leap in the Saudi history of sponsoring the talented students”, assured that the academic acceleration system at the university meets the latest international standards in this field. He hoped that the other Saudi universities would adopt such a system, as “it is one of the highest levels of supporting talented students educationally.”

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