Top degree of corruption: Saudi university ‘paid $2m bribe to boost ranking’

Updated 17 January 2016
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Top degree of corruption: Saudi university ‘paid $2m bribe to boost ranking’

RIYADH: A Saudi university paid over $2 million to an institute in Australia as bribe to improve its classification and ranking among global universities, Nazaha, the anti-corruption organization, has found.
Nazaha has told the Ministry of Education (MoE) to respond to these excessive financial expenses, which it considers act of corruption and waste of money, a source was quoted as saying by local media on Saturday.
Nazaha had previously found the university’s involvement in other inappropriate and corrupt activities, the source said. “The university is not cooperating with Nazaha by responding to what has been published in the media.”
It is noteworthy that nine Saudi universities were included in the UK’s QS World University Rankings for the year 2014-2015, with King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals leading among Arab universities, followed by King Saud University in the third place and King Abdulaziz University in the fifth spot.
The recent development of alleged corruption comes at a time when the MoE has been focusing on improving its social communication channels and online communication services.
The ministry’s Center for Customer Support “Tawasul” completed 30,000 requests and applications by the end of 2015. Tawasul is one of the ministry’s e-services that provides support to beneficiaries and receives complaints, comments and queries addressed to the minister and other top officials, alongside the “My Results” program for results services and “Safeer” for scholarship students.
Hamad Al-Muhaimeed, media director of the Department of Public Relations and Media at the ministry, was quoted as saying that such procedures are part of the ministry’s keenness to realize better communication measures and unify services provided to the public, as per the vision of education minister Ahmed Al-Eissa.
The new media is in line with plans to improve and establish an integrated media approach to keep pace with developments, bring the ministry closer to beneficiaries, said.
Al-Muhaimeed said the department is planning, as per the instruction and supervisor of Mohammed Al-Haizan, general supervisor of Public Relations and Media, to improve the ministry’s social networking accounts and all other digital media channels.


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.