Misk offers Saudi students chance to enroll in top global universities

The program aims to improve students’ chances of receiving offers at some of the world’s top universities. (Photo/Social media)
Updated 12 November 2019

Misk offers Saudi students chance to enroll in top global universities

  • Applications are open until Nov. 9, and this includes providing reference letters and TOEFL iBT results

RIYADH: The Initiatives Center at the Mohammed bin Salman Charitable Foundation (Misk), represented by the Fellowship and Traineeship Initiative, has reopened applications for the College Prep Program, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
The program seeks to meet the aspirations of students who wish to enroll in one of the world’s top universities. It offers an intensive preparation program carried out throughout secondary school years.
The program aims to improve students’ chances of receiving offers at some of the world’s top universities, including Columbia and Stanford in the US and Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.
Students are enrolled in a series of intensive programs that prepare them in terms of character-building and enabling them to pass safely toward university education and start a productive academic life.
The first stage of the College Prep Program targets grade 10 students. During the summer vacation of their first year as secondary students, they are enrolled in a training program that simulates the future academic experience in one of the world’s prestigious universities. It runs for seven weeks, during which students live a typical university life and engage in many academic activities.

HIGHLIGHT

Misk’s Fellowship and Traineeship initiative has over 70 partnerships with international and local universities, institutes and organizations. It offers preparation programs in various fields, benefitting more than 9,000 young men and women in the Kingdom.

In the summer of the second year, students join a series of training courses aimed at improving their academic skills and helping them overcome the obstacles they may face when applying to one of their target universities. During this stage, academic advisers prepare students to sit for a series of university entrance tests, train them to write personal statements and help them choose universities in line with their interests.
In the final stage, the program assigns an adviser to each student to help them apply to the target universities and choose a course upon graduating from secondary school.
There is a set of requirements for enrolling in the College Prep Program, including attending the first year of secondary school (grade 10) this academic year (2019-2020), graduating intermediate school with a total average of at least 90 percent, and the ability to speak and write in English.
Applications are open until Nov. 9, and this includes providing reference letters and TOEFL iBT results. Candidates are selected after attending an interview, and results will be announced in January 2020.


Future Hospitality Summit: Adventure travel weathers coronavirus pandemic

Updated 31 min 15 sec ago

Future Hospitality Summit: Adventure travel weathers coronavirus pandemic

  • Hospitality industry leaders and experts were discussing COVID-19 impact at virtual event hosted by Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Although the global travel and tourism industry is still reeling from the negative effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, adventure travel in particular is holding up.

“Adventure travel, which has been a booming industry, remains one of the resilient categories,” Alex Dichter, a partner at McKinsey and Company, said during the virtual Future Hospitality Summit on Monday.

Dichter explained the correlation by saying that adventure travel involved trips like “bucket list” experiences, and “COVID-19 has reminded people around the world that life is short.”

The management consulting expert likewise identified other global travel trends during the event hosted by Riyadh to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20.

For instance, international destinations closer to people’s home countries are increasing in popularity, akin to domestic travel, as COVID19-related movement restrictions beyond national borders remain in place.

In general, travel interest dropped nearly 40 percent globally, but all regions — apart from the UAE — have witnessed a gradual recovery since July and August. The summer months are considered off-season for the Gulf country, and the trend has not changed this year, Dichter said.

Despite decline and recovery levels remaining mostly uniform across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, volatility nonetheless remains high when measured at a country level, he said.

Hotel occupancy also remains lower by 34 percent globally, but only 20 percent in China, compared with the same time frame in 2019.

Several speakers, meanwhile, said that global travel was severely affected by movement restrictions and some COVID-19 measures, such as mandatory quarantines.

“When there are quarantine measures in the destination or the home country, the percentage of bookings drops by 100,” said Alexander de Juniac, the CEO and director general of the International Air Travel Association.

De Juniac suggested the implementation of rapid COVID-19 testing as a safe alternative to mandatory quarantine periods in order to stimulate travel activity.

Gloria Manzo, the CEO and president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, meanwhile, suggested that countries needed to decide who to quarantine based on individual COVID-19 test results rather than imposing broader rules based on nationality, or color-coding countries according to safety levels.

As for the global recovery of the tourism and travel industry, Manzo said it would depend on the levels of international cooperation.

“We can have an 18 month recovery or a 3 year recovery period, depending on the coordination of stakeholders,” she added.

Meanwhile, officials from Saudi Arabia discussed the Kingdom’s efforts to boost the tourism industry.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the country was working to develop the Red Sea coastline to attract more people.

“Last year we had more than 10,000 visitors discover historical sites,” Al-Khateeb said during the summit.

Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Ad Diriyah Gate Development Authority, added that the Kingdom had spent 25 years restoring the UNESCO World Heritage site to support the contry’s tourism industry.

“We are taking tourism from 3 percent of GDP to 10 percent of GDP,” he said.

The Future Hospitality Summit is a two-day event organized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and the G20 Saudi Secretariat to bring international expertise and tackle current problems of the travel and tourism industry.