The Kingdom is currently undergoing a “renaissance” in education with a massive budget for local university development and overseas scholarships, said Minister of Higher Education Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari at the opening of the Fourth International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education 2013 here yesterday.
The event is being held at the International Exhibition and Convention Center.
“The exhibition and the conference presents the real image of the renaissance in the Kingdom and enhances the cooperation between Saudi universities and their world counterparts,” Al-Anqari said.
He said the foreign scholarship program of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, now in its third year, has covered 148,229 students. Over 47,000 male and female students graduated from the scholarship program between 2007 and 2013.
Al-Anqari thanked King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and Second Deputy Premier Prince Muqrin for supporting the progress and development in education and other sectors in the Kingdom.
He thanked the corporate sponsors of the event for backing scientific and cultural activities in the Kingdom.
“The budget for higher education this year was the largest ever, constituting 10 percent of the state’s budget of SR 820 billion,” Al-Anqari said.
Oh Yoon Cheon, president of South Korea’s Seoul National University, urged higher education institutions to cooperate with each other. He said higher education institutions must focus on public education and universal human values, which lead to open-mindedness and the preservation of cultural diversity. He praised Saudi Arabia for focusing on upgrading the standards of its universities.
Nearly 436 universities and educational institutions from 37 countries, and 51 universities and education institutions from the Kingdom, are taking part in the four-day event, which is expected to attract over 300,000 students and parents from the Kingdom and neighboring countries.
The exhibition includes 75 workshops and lectures delivered by 22 world experts.