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.


Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi, president of Tabuk University

Updated 11 December 2019

Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi, president of Tabuk University

  • Al-Dhayabi began his academic career as a lecturer at KAU
  • Al-Dhayabi is a member of the higher committees for female colleges in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi has been the president of Tabuk University since October 2017.

Prior to that, he was the deputy head of educational affairs at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, where he served in the position for one year. 

He has also been the chairman of the promotion and job competition committee, as well as the safety committee, at Tabuk University since November 2012. 

Al-Dhayabi began his academic career as a lecturer at KAU, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Science. 

He later traveled abroad to pursue his higher education, earning his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri, US. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Birmingham, UK.

After that, he returned to the Kingdom and joined KAU as an assistant professor. He remained in that position from 2005 to 2010, then served as an associate professor between 2010 and 2014.

Al-Dhayabi is a member of the higher committees for female colleges in the Kingdom and the community colleges higher committee at the Ministry of Higher Education.

He congratulated King Salman on the release of the government’s annual budget for 2020.

“Approximately one-fifth of the budget is allocated to education, which reflects the leadership’s keenness to invest in the human element through education and training ... to open new horizons and job opportunities for Saudi youth and encourage them to invest in the diverse resources in the Kingdom,” Al-Dhayabi said.