Saudi universities offer multiple, flexible options for master’s programs

Many universities in Saudi Arabia are offering various postgraduate programs. (SPA)
Many universities in Saudi Arabia are offering various postgraduate programs. (SPA)
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Updated 24 July 2022

Saudi universities offer multiple, flexible options for master’s programs

Many universities in Saudi Arabia are offering various postgraduate programs. (SPA)
  • Reforms to the Kingdom’s universities sector are benefiting students

RIYADH: Saudi universities are now offering scores of flexible options for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree.

In 2019, the Saudi Council of Ministers approved a law to give independence to universities to develop their own academic  and administrative regulations in accordance with state-approved policies.

The new regulation also allowed universities to formulate a financial structure to generate revenues through carrying out scientific research and consultation services.




Dr. Abdulaziz S. Al-Ghamdi, vice rector for graduate studies and scientific research at the University of Hail. (Supplied)

The Saudi Electronic University plans to launch eight master’s programs focusing on business administration, digitization, and health, with each program costing SR81,000 ($21,500)

To apply, candidates should have bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with a decent GPA and pass the university’s approved language assessment and other proficiency tests.

President of the Saudi Electronic University Prof. Lilac A. Al-Safadi told Arab News that the university “focuses on offering top-quality and specialized programs in cooperation with international universities, keeping pace with the job market, and the latest methods of e-learning.”

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Reforms to the Kingdom’s education sector are benefiting students.

Al-Safadi said that the university also offers introductory programs that prepare students from non-specialty professions to enroll in certain master’s degrees, such as the preparatory program for business administration, the introductory program for cybersecurity, and the introductory program for data science. The students must pass the introductory programs before being enrolled for the degree.




President of the Saudi Electronic University Prof. Lilac A. Al-Safadi (Supplied)   

Since a majority of the students pursuing master’s degrees are working, Al-Safadi said that “the university model is suitable for employees interested in continuing post graduate studies due to the implementation of blended learning, which allows students to attend electronically, in-person, and beyond official working hours.”

Dr. Abdullah bin Nidal Addas, vice rector for graduate studies and scientific research at Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, said that his institution has opened admissions to 31 master’s degree programs, many of which are in medicine, management and technology.

The master’s programs at the university are all priced differently, but the entry standards are similar to the Saudi Electronic University.




Dr. Abdullah bin Nidal Addas, vice rector for graduate studies and scientific research, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University. (Supplied)   

Addas said that the university continues its pursuit in providing high-quality graduate programs to fulfill the demands of society.

“Our graduates have the potential and competence to join the labor market as the output of the programs are linked to the needs of the labor market.”

Undergraduate students in a non-specialized field can also enroll in a variety of programs that do not require an extension of specialization at the faculties of engineering and computer science, engineering, science, business administration and education.

Dr. Abdulaziz S. Al-Ghamdi, vice dean for graduate studies and scientific research at the University of Hail, said that the university offers many programs and seeks to make graduates well qualified to enter the labor market by providing them with a set of knowledge, skills and the ability to perform in their fields of specialization.

The cost of a master’s degree in the Kingdom ranges from SR20,000 to SR100,000.

Undergraduate students in a non-specialized field can also enroll in some programs.

 


Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
Updated 19 sec ago

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
  • The single-pitch routes at NEOM have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers
  • Wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers

JEDDAH: Saudi climbing enthusiasts in search of a “new high” have been gathering in the desert near NEOM to try out 100 new routes opened late last year as part of Rise 100, the Kingdom’s first climbing festival.

The single-pitch routes have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers.

Single-pitch climbing routes are up to a half-rope length (about 30 meters) with an anchor at the end, and are accessible to climbers of all abilities.

Rise 100 last December set the stage for NEOM’s diverse adventure sport offerings, which are designed to encourage greater environmental awareness, educating thrill-seekers beyond just the sport.

Now indoor climbing gyms are opening around the country, while a growing number of events bring international and local climbers together.

The result is a fast-growing community of young, but highly committed, climbers.

Abdul Rahman Abughazala, a 25-year-old mechatronic engineer, said that after developing an interest in the sport in college, “it took over my life.”

The young adventurer’s day now revolves around climbing.

New routes opened in NEOM “mean a lot to the climbing community,” he added.

“Newer climbers can experience different rock types and styles of climbing that are absolutely beautiful. And it is easier for Middle Eastern climbers from the north to visit Saudi and try climbing here,” he told Arab News.

Bolting more routes around the Kingdom will offer climbers more exposure and variety as they learn how to deal with different climbs and rock types.

Pioneering Saudi climber Faisal Al-Dosary said that hard granite rock gave Tanomah, a popular climbing destination in the Kingdom’s southwest, an advantage.

“Granite is stronger and more difficult to break,” he said.

“In NEOM, they are a bit closer to sandy rock, which makes them fragile. Fortunately, the routes are safe because they are bolted extremely deep. These kinds of differences will ensure that the climbers will be able to deal with any type of rock around the world.”

Abughazala agreed that the wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers to the Kingdom.

Al-Dosary, who was part of a team that worked together to open the first dedicated indoor climbing center in Saudi Arabia, said that it is encouraging to see so many younger climbers joining the sport.

“It is a skill that we need to develop at an early age, and it helps with flexibility and strength,” he said.

Follow this path, the climbing veteran said, “and we will have Olympic-level climbers.”

Abughazala said that he is excited about the future “because I know our potential, and I know that it is just a matter of time until our community thrives.”

Growth in the sport will also lead to greater environmental awareness and have “a big impact on the perception of nature,” he said.

“As climbers and nature lovers, leaving the place as it is, or in even better condition, is as important as the action of climbing. It is every single person’s job to care for it as much as the workers or the government body around the area.”

Climbers believe the NEOM routes are merely the start for Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom’s desert areas and mountains destined to attract climbers from around the world.


Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
  • Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world

MAKKAH: The Saudi Life Saving Federation has introduced two initiatives to help reduce drowning cases in the Kingdom.

The federation’s chief, Ahmed Al-Shammari, said that the programs will focus on training and qualification.

He said that the federation will introduce a six-day, 50-hour training program for men and women, after which trainees obtain an international rescuer certificate through which they can work in Saudi Arabia and in all member states of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

He added that another program will allow Saudis who qualify in international courses to submit them through the federation’s “rescuer” platform. A theoretical and practical evaluation process is then carried out. Once cleared, rescuers will obtain official certificates.

Al-Shammari said that the Saudi Life Saving Federation has provided its services to over 500 beneficiaries and works to increase community awareness on water safety through social and traditional media.

Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world.

Al-Shammari told Arab News: “We regret the drowning cases occurring in several Saudi cities,” adding that avoiding these incidents is an integrated societal responsibility and everyone must join hands to prevent drowning cases.

He said that a society-wide response is what the federation works for through training, rehabilitation and a legislative calendar that benefits every rescuer, citizen, and resident, allowing them to obtain official certificates when they are available to train.

Al-Shammari said that the federation, established in 2019 by Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, was certified by the ILS in 2020.

“We need a wide media mobilization to raise awareness about the importance of rescue and water safety. We aim to train the largest number of qualified lifeguards,” he said, noting that the federation has recently been granted seven seats at the ILS in Belgium.

Al-Shammari noted: “We focus on providing theoretical and practical qualifications by offering a range of courses for beginners working in water bodies, swimming pools and beaches, and contributing to the development of technical standards and regulations with all relevant authorities. We are currently working with the relevant authorities on forming a national committee to set national policies to prevent drowning cases.”

He stressed that work is currently underway to develop rescue sports competitions in various regions to prepare for the Kingdom’s representation in upcoming international forums.


KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
Updated 10 August 2022

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
  • The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries

WARSAW: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) held on Tuesday a joint meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

The meeting took place in Poland in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Saad bin Saleh Al-Saleh; Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah; Advisor to the High Commissioner and Regional Representative of the UNHCR Khaled Khalifa; and WHO Representative for Poland Dr. Paloma Cuchi. 

During the meeting, Al Rabeeah praised the strong strategic partnership between the three organizations, adding that their humanitarian and relief projects have benefited millions around the world, according to SPA. 

He also said he hoped to expand their cooperation to reach even more people, SPA reported. 

Meanwhile, Khaled Khalifa praised the aid provided by the Kingdom to refugees in various countries around the world, while WHO’s Poland representative said Saudi Arabia’s efforts have greatly impacted the lives of millions. 

The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries. 


Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 09 August 2022

Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
  • Cabinet appreciated UN’s efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reaffirmed the Kingdom’s firm support for all action that can help to guarantee the security and stability of Yemen and its people.

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. According to Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, the member for Shoura Council affairs and acting minister of media, the Cabinet members expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the UN to improve the adherence to the ceasefire in Yemen, in line with the Saudi initiative, announced in March last year, to end the crisis in the country and reach a comprehensive political resolution.
The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN and will take place in February, will contribute to efforts to find innovative and practical solutions that can help provide humanitarian aid to the highest standards and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

FASTFACT

The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN in February.

Ministers also reiterated the Kingdom’s assertion, made this month during the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, of support for international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and place its nuclear facilities under a comprehensive system of safeguards under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The council said it considers the stability and balance of oil markets as one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s energy strategy.
It described oil as an important element in supporting the growth of the global economy, as reflected in Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the OPEC+ agreement on production quotas. Members stressed the importance of full compliance with those quotas by all OPEC+ member nations.
The council session concluded with the approval of a number of decisions. The chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence was tasked with negotiating with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development a draft administrative agreement between Saudi Arabia and the bank on a multi-donor trust fund for a digital development partnership.
The minister of energy and the minister of tourism were asked to draft and sign a cooperation agreement between their ministries and their counterparts in Thailand in the fields of energy and tourism.
A memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population was approved, as were two MoUs for cooperation in the transport and logistics sector between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. Ministers also approved an MoU for cooperation between the Saudi General Authority for Statistics and the British Office for National Statistics.

 


National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia
Updated 09 August 2022

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia
  • The CyberIC program is designed to develop the skills of more than 10,000 Saudis and stimulate the wider domestic cybersecurity sector
  • The program offers courses that include virtual exercises so as to ensure that participants are ready to confront the most significant cybersecurity challenges

JEDDAH: The National Cybersecurity Authority on Monday announced the launch of a new program, CyberIC, to develop the cybersecurity sector in Saudi Arabia.

The program is aimed at developing the capabilities of cybersecurity specialists working with national authorities and stimulating the domestic cybersecurity ecosystem by increasing the development and localization of cybersecurity products, services and solutions.

The CyberIC program is designed to develop the skills of more than 10,000 Saudis and stimulate the wider domestic cybersecurity sector in line with international best practices.

The first phase of the program includes a number of initiatives, such as providing training for employees of national authorities working in cybersecurity and related fields and accelerating cybersecurity activities to stimulate the sector.

It will also include the launch of the second version of the cybersecurity challenge and offer programs for chief information security officers in cooperation with prestigious international universities in the field.

To ensure participants are ready to confront the most significant cybersecurity challenges, the program offers courses that include virtual exercises that simulate real cyberattacks and incidents.

The program is based on six main tracks: innovation and entrepreneurship, cybersecurity officers, cybersecurity trainers, fresh graduates, cybersecurity specialists and law enforcement agencies.

It will support the growth of the cybersecurity industry in the Kingdom by helping more than 60 national cybersecurity startups. Forty have already been launched, while the other 20 will be established through the cybersecurity challenge.