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US has most Saudi students globally

Saudis have been studying in the United States for decades. (SPA)

JEDDAH: The United States has the most Saudi students in the world at 125,000, which includes those on scholarship and others studying at their own expense, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Saudis have been studying in the United States for decades, overseen by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, which was established in America 60 years ago. This was part of the government’s plan, now under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, to ensure Saudis have skills to help the economy on their return home, the report stated.
King Salman had demonstrated his concern about the education of citizens when he visited the United States officially in 2015, where he met with a group of students studying in the country.
This commitment has extended to 2016, with the announcement of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP), spearheaded by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Ministry of Education, under the NTP, has 36 initiatives for the development of education, including the foreign scholarship program and improvement of its operations, with a budget of SR48 million. The total education budget is SR24 billion. This confirms the government’s continued commitment to education, the report said.
The NTP, announced on June 6, is a SR268 billion plan over the next five years to triple revenue from non-oil sources, tax expatriates and goods, reduce water and electricity subsidies, cut public sector salaries and ensure a greater involvement of the private sector in the economy.
The NTP aims to boost non-oil revenue to SR530 billion by 2020, creating some 450,000 non-government jobs. The plan aims to enhance the level and quality of services provided by government and “achieve a prosperous future” and sustainable development. A further SR300 billion would be added to the NTP by the private sector.

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