Foreign universities to open branch campuses in Saudi Arabia

Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 30 October 2019

Foreign universities to open branch campuses in Saudi Arabia

  • The scheme will begin with three foreign universities, which have not yet been named

JEDDAH: Foreign universities can now open branch campuses in the Kingdom, the Saudi Cabinet said on Tuesday.
The decision will “achieve a qualitative leap in … empowerment, excellence and quality,” said Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh.
The move was widely welcomed on Tuesday, both by education experts and by students who could benefit.
“It will raise the standards of local universities. There will be much more competition, which is much needed,” education and entrepreneurship consultant Dr. Taghreed Al-Saraj told Arab News.
“This competition will lead to an improvement in the quality of education. That is what all we want. It’s a very smart move.”
Abdan Alabdan, who has been on a government scholarship program for five years at York University in Canada, said: “It’s a positive and progressive step, and it will give a chance to those who can’t study abroad to study in such universities at home.”
Mishaal Al-Khudair, 28, who had planned to complete her higher education abroad, told Arab News: “They’re trying to give us opportunities to have a top-notch education without needing to leave the country.

FASTFACTS

The scheme will begin with three foreign universities, which have not yet been named.

The decision will “achieve a qualitative leap in … empowerment, excellence and quality,” said Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh.

“It’s a good opportunity for those wanting to stay here while studying, whether to avoid expenses or to be close to their friends and family. Increasing the number of institutions that give high-quality education will have a monumental impact.
“Increasing the availability of good education in the Kingdom will produce a well-equipped generation to move us higher and higher.”
The scheme will begin with three foreign universities, which have not yet been named.


Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

Photo/SPA
Updated 23 min 28 sec ago

Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

  • Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement

JEDDAH: Several Saudi female lawyers have praised the Justice Ministry’s decision to appoint 100 female notaries as a step forward for women’s legal empowerment.
“We appreciate Justice Minister Walid Al-Samani’s … rapid steps toward empowering women to work in all available jobs, considering them viable components of society, particularly in the justice sector,” lawyer Njnood Qasim told Arab News.
She added: “We hope that it will be the beginning of an important and most anticipated step, which is the appointment of a Saudi woman as a judge.”
Qasim noted that many qualified women have been recruited by the Justice Ministry for the first time in history to work in the fields of law, Shariah, sociology, administration and technology.
Lawyer Rana Al-Daknan, meanwhile, said she thought women could fill any role in society. “An ambassador, an undersecretary, a minister, but I think no woman should be a minister before women become judges,” she told Arab News.
Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement, but added: “Of course we are looking for more, though that does not mean we should not appreciate this step.”

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The newly appointed female notaries will officially start their work next Sunday with a specialized training program lasting three months.

Al-Daknan explained that women first began obtaining notary licenses in 2018, and the services they offer include documentation, transferring property, authorizing powers of attorney submissions and other services.
“The next step for women is working with conciliation committees, which is known in other countries as being a magistrate. Thankfully it is possible now for both men and women to obtain conciliation licenses, where they will assume the role of the judge,” Al-Daknan said. “I personally have applied and (am) in the process to obtain this license.”
Another lawyer, Abrar Shaket, told Arab News that this move was the natural result of the Kingdom’s steps to empower its female citizens under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.