Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr., Arab News
Saturday 24 February 2007
Last Update 24 February 2007 12:00 am
RIYADH, 24 February 2007 — Deputy Minister of Cultural Relations Abdullah I. Almojel has welcomed Austrian students to come to the Kingdom to study at various local universities.
Almojel made the announcement during a reception held for a visiting Austrian delegation of university deans and heads at the residence of Ambassador Friedrich Stift in the Diplomatic Quarter here.
The Austrian delegation was in the Kingdom on a four-day visit at the invitation of the Ministry of Higher Education. It is headed by Hans Suenkel, rector of the Technische Universitaet Graz.
Almojel said the Kingdom hopes to send 200 Saudi students this year to Austria to take various courses in different colleges and universities. Currently, there are some 36 Saudi students enrolled at various Austrian universities.
“The Kingdom welcomes and encourages Austrian students to come and study in Saudi Arabia for a semester or two or take either a short or a full course in any discipline,” he said.
The delegation’s visit comes in the wake of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May last year to boost and expand collaboration between Austrian and Saudi universities.
Under the MOU, it was agreed that there will be an exchange of students between the two countries, exchange of faculty members, joint research that will help the economy of the two countries, and exchange of information on the educational system of both countries.
Stift, on the other hand, expressed appreciation to the Kingdom, especially the Ministry of Higher Education, for having invited the delegation whose members are heads of leading Austrian universities.
For his part, Suenkel expressed his appreciation “for what we saw at the Kingdom’s universities in Riyadh, like the King Saud University.”
“The facilities are simply world-class,” he said.