In the wake of rising number of road accidents involving girl students needing to commute long distances between their homes and colleges, the Minister of Higher Education Khaled Al-Anqari has come up with a drastic solution.
He announced the ministry’s decision to establish residential facilities for girl students at all the new university cities across the Kingdom. Expressing profound grief over the death of 12 female students of Hail University in a horrific accident last month, the minister said that there has been coordination with the university to make accommodation for women students from distant locations, Al-Watan daily reported Sunday.
“This will be a temporary arrangement for those students who want to stay in the neighborhood of the university until the completion of the hostel facilities for them. The gruesome tragedy has resulted in expediting implementation of the project,” he said, adding, that accommodation for women students is an integral part of the new University City projects being implemented all over the Kingdom.
The minister made these remarks while speaking to reporters after signing a number of contracts to implement university projects at his office here on Saturday. The projects, which will be implemented at some university cities, are estimated to cost more than SR1 billion. These include university hospitals at Al-Jouf University and Najran University, leveling of the site for the construction of the complex of university faculties in Rafha, in addition to setting up of an electricity plant at the Northern Border University in Arar.
According to the minister, the two university hospital projects are part of a comprehensive development project involving nine university hospitals, costing over SR4 billion. “Four contracts had been signed to execute this. These university hospital projects are under various phases of implementation at the university cities of Hail, Jazan, Taiba and Al-Qassim,” he said.
Referring to delay in the implementation of some ministry projects, Al-Anqari said that some of the old projects were delayed due to variation in prices of construction materials during the period from the time of awarding the project until now. “This has resulted in some problems with regard to the cost of the projects, thus delaying the hand over to the ministry. However, the ministry managed to sort out the problems and all the projects except one have been handed over,” he said, adding that the remaining one will be handed over this year.
According to Al-Anqari, there has been coordination between his ministry and the Ministry of Health with regard to the smooth functioning of university hospitals. “Implementation of these university hospital projects would create a number of job opportunities at all levels. These jobs will be made available to both graduates of these universities as well as scholarship students.