Knowledge is the foundation of the renaissance of nations; for this reason, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has given special attention to this sector. Because of his concern for sustainable development of human resources in the Kingdom, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud launched his initiative to create the King Abdullah Scholarship Program. The program is designed to be an important source of support for Saudi universities as well as the public and private sectors in the kingdom by supplying them with highly qualified Saudi citizens and through the development, preparation and qualification of human resources in an effective manner, so that they may compete on an international level in the labor market and the various fields of scientific research. To achieve these aims, King Abdullah issued a royal decree on 17/4/1426H (25/5/2005) launching this program, which continued for a period of five years.
The program began by sending a group of male and female students to study in the United States of America. Its scope was then broadened to include a number of advanced countries in diverse fields of specialization in order to meet the needs of the labor market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
After the completion of the first five stages of the program, and the Ministry’s conviction that it had realized its goals, the Ministry requested King Abdullah to renew it for a further five-year period, beginning in 1431H (2010). The King graciously approved this request on 4/3/1431H (18/2/2010), a decision which would enable more young Saudi men and women to realize their ambitions and aspirations, and at the same time supply the government and private sectors with highly qualified individuals.
The administration in charge of the program carries out evaluations of all it stages and benefits from feedback received in improving and developing the performance of each stage qualitatively and quantitatively.
To prepare distinguished generations for a knowledge society built upon a knowledge-based economy.
To prepare and qualify Saudi human resources in an effective manner so that they will be able to compete on an international level in the labor market and the different areas of scientific research, and thereby become an important source of supply of highly qualified individuals for Saudi universities as well as the government and private sectors.
- Sponsor qualified Saudis for study in the best universities around the world
- Work to bring about a high level of academic and professional standards through the foreign scholarship program
- Exchange scientific, educational and cultural experience with countries worldwide
- Build up qualified and professional Saudi staff in the work environment
- Raise and develop the level of professionalism among Saudis
Study Levels and Academic Disciplines
The King Abdullah Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Saudi citizens to pursue their undergraduate and graduate university education abroad in many academic disciplines needed by most government and private sectors. On the undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree) level, students are allowed to study medicine, medical sciences, and health sciences. On the graduate level (Master’s degree and Ph.D.), the program allows students to study a diversity of fields, including:
- Medicine, dentistry, and the medical fellowship
- Medical sciences: radiology, medical laboratories, medical technology, and physical therapy
- Engineering: civil, architectural, electric, mechanical, industrial, chemical, environmental and communications engineering, as well as heavy equipment and machinery
- Computer: computer engineering, computer science, networks, etc.
- Pure sciences: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology
- Other disciplines: law, accounting, e-commerce, finance, insurance and marketing
Countries of Study
The countries to which students are sent to study in the program have been selected on the basis of the excellence of their educational programs and are subject to periodic review. Students accepted in the program are currently sent to the following countries:
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
- People’s Republic of China
- South Africa