Foreign universities are now able to open branch campuses in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Cabinet and Ministry of Education have confirmed.
Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh, Education Minister, has said that the decision to allow foreign universities to be set up in Saudi Arabia will “achieve a qualitative leap in empowerment, excellence and quality.”
Dr. Taghreed Al-Saraj, entrepreneurship consultant, told Arab News: “It will raise the standards of local universities. There will be much more competition, which is much needed.
“This competition will lead to an improvement in the quality of education. That is what all we want. It’s a very smart move.”
Mishaal Al-Khudair, 28, who was originally planning to complete her higher education overseas, said: “They’re trying to give us opportunities to have a top-notch education without needing to leave the country.
“It’s a good opportunity for those wanting to stay here while studying, whether to avoid expense 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.”
Scheme to allow foreign university campuses aims to better quality of education in Saudi Arabia
The scheme is expected to lead to more choosing stay closer to home for their furthered education instead of choosing to study further afield.
The added competition of more widely renowned foreign universities opening up branch campuses will likely spur on local institutions to offer stronger programmes and attract a higher calibre of student.
Abdan Alabdan, who has spent the last five years at York University in Canada on a government scholarship, 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.”
The scheme will begin with three foreign universities who have yet to be named.
Pic: Brett Jordan
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
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