12,500 Saudis graduate in United States
A total of 12,500 Saudi students who graduated from American universities this year were honored during a special convocation ceremony organized by the Saudi cultural attaché in Washington on Sunday. The graduates included 5,669 women and 124 medical fellowship holders.
Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari, who attended the ceremony, said the King Abdullah Foreign Education Scholarship Program was a big success in enabling Saudis to gain higher education at reputable international universities in the US and other countries.
“We are now reaping the fruit of this program,” the minister said while praising Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s long-term vision.
During the past nine years, the number of scholarship students grew from 5,000 to 151,228, with their dependents reaching 81,617 persons.
Saudi women accounted for 27.94 percent of the total scholarship students in foreign countries, Al-Anqari said. “This program will bring about an educational and cultural renaissance in the Kingdom,” he added.
Among the graduates, 5,117 received bachelor degrees and 5,062 master’s degrees.
“We have not only seen an increase in the number of graduates every year, but also an improvement in the quality of education they receive,” the minister pointed out.
Mohammed Al-Eissa, Saudi cultural attaché in Washington, said the graduates included 80 doctors and 600 dentists, while 92 received doctorate degrees and 30 others master degrees. Among the female graduates, 275 have received doctorate degrees and 2,345 master’s degrees, he said.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Sherif of King Abdulaziz University was all praise for King Abdullah for introducing the scholarship program, saying it would have a significant impact on the Kingdom’s future.
Speaking with Arab News, he said foreign education would bring about considerable change in the attitude of Saudis and their lifestyle and help them learn conducive skills practiced in advanced countries and how to engage in good planning.