Turkish Prime Minister, 7 others win King Faisal International Award:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
and seven others on Monday won the 2010 King Faisal International
Prize (KFIP) for Service to Islam. ....Read
Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah wants to recruit the scientists who
King Faisal International Prize in order to strengthen its
research chair program, reports Arab News.
At a joint press conference on Tuesday
with Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr. Ali Al-Attiyah, University
President Dr. Walid Abu Al-Faraj said the program was aimed at
boosting research and development in the Kingdom.
“We also want to develop the
university’s role in transforming the Kingdom into a knowledge-based
economy and strengthening its research and consultancy capabilities
with the support of international expertise,” Arab News
quoted him as saying.
Al-Faraj said the program was also
aimed at realizing the Kingdom’s strategic goals and emphasizing its
role in encouraging the exchange of knowledge and scholars.
“We want to spread a culture of
knowledge, innovation, research and development in different
sections of society,” Al-Faraj said.
He said the program would provide
impetus for the university’s staff and students to contribute more
in achieving excellence in research and innovation under the
supervision of King Faisal Prize laureates.
“It will provide a good opportunity
for Umm Al-Qura scientists to work with their international
counterparts by conducting joint research and attending their
lectures,” Arab News quoted the president said.
Al-Attiyah revealed his ministry’s
plans to develop Umm Al-Qura into a leading university in Saudi
“The university has 15 million square
meters of land and we have plans to establish an endowment property
to finance its programs,” the deputy minister said.
He said the number of students sent
abroad for higher studies under the King Abdullah Foreign
Scholarship Program has reached 70,000, adding that about SR10
billion is being spent annually on the initiative.
He said Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Abdullah approved the program, adding that the
government would pay the fees of participating students.
“A number of universities have started
implementing the program and we hope Umm Al-Qura would soon join
The parallel education program,
introduced about six years ago, allows public universities to accept
more students. Universities were charging tuitions of
Al-Attiyah said the ministry was
introducing another program to make use of the expertise of staff
from international universities by signing agreements with them. “We
have already established joint research centers in cooperation with
The ministry has allocated SR2 billion
this year for building housing units for university staff.
Contracts for these housing projects
are expected to be signed within a month.
Saudi Ministry’s budget increased from
SR325 million to SR16 billion over the past four years. He also
disclosed plans to establish hostels for female students.
The number of government-run
universities in Saudi Arabia rose from eight to 24 in the space of a
few years. There are also nine private universities in the country.
The government pays 50 percent of academic fees for students
enrolled in private universities.