Citizenship for top foreign academics planned

Updated 01 March 2013
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Citizenship for top foreign academics planned

The Ministry of Higher Education may offer Saudi citizenship as an incentive to attract top foreign scholars and lecturers to the Kingdom’s universities, said the ministry’s Undersecretary for Educational Affairs Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al-Ouhali. The offer is one of the incentives the ministry is considering, said Al-Ouhali, who was speaking at the seventh periodic meeting of Saudi universities’ undersecretaries for educational affairs at Taif University.
Under the proposal, foreigners will also get allowances for their children, he added. He said it was an international academic tradition to have diverse expertise that can improve services.
Lawyer and King Abdul Aziz University professor Omar Al-Khuli said universities have a “clear shortage” of faculty members and need to recruit professors from abroad, but these people have to be outstanding and highly qualified. Al-Khuli suggested raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 to help meet the need for academics.
Professor Farouq Al-Khateeb of King Abdul Aziz University’s Economics Department opposes the idea. He said there are enough Saudi academics and that hundreds of thousands of Saudi students studying on scholarships abroad can be recruited.
Al-Khateeb called on the ministry to find out the needs of Saudi academics before considering incentives to attract foreigners. He said the Saudi academic system has not been improved for the last 40 years and urged government to provide more incentives for Saudi teachers and their children.
Professor Alaa Al-Ghamdi of Taibah University agreed that a university must have both local and foreign expertise. However, he believes that attractive research opportunities should be considered as incentives, not granting citizenship.
He described the financial remuneration of Saudi assistant professors as “miserable” relative to the salaries and allowances of their counterparts in other Gulf States.


Saudi Commission on Tourism and Heritage chief on official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Mohammad Abdulhameed is raising his daughter Maria single-handedly. (AN photo)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Saudi Commission on Tourism and Heritage chief on official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina 

JEDDAH: The president of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Tourism and National Heritage arrived in Sarajevo on Monday, as part of an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has expressed King Salman’s sincere greetings to the people and the government of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He was then received by the chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, at their headquarters in the capital, Sarajevo. 

Prince Sultan is on an official state visit to the Balkan state upon the instructions of King Salman, who is keen to bolster ties with the country and open new horizons of cooperation between both states.