In an effort to become a popular educational destination and to attract more international students, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is investing huge amounts in its universities and colleges with keeping Science and Technology as the particular area in focus. Home to one-fifth of the world’s oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is also a leading educator in the field of oil and gas engineering.
Saudi Arabia is home to 21 government-run universities offering Masters and PhD programs, as well as several private colleges and departments. The most popular Masters program for international graduates in Saudi Arabia are in Finance, Marketing, Technology and Religious Studies. A Bachelor’s Degree in Saudi Arabia can be an excellent opportunity for personal, cultural, and intellectual growth.
The country is also a perfect place for international students looking to study the theology of Islam.
Before you decide to take up higher studies in Saudi Arabia, it is important to understand some of the crucial aspects of the country and its education system.
Responsible for establishing, administering and supervising universities and colleges, the Ministry of Higher Education controls the higher education system in the country. Saudi Arabia is home to 21 government universities, 24 private universities and colleges, 37 colleges and institutions for health, 18 primary teacher colleges for men, 80 primary teacher colleges for women, and 12 technical colleges. More than 200,000 students are currently enrolled at Saudi universities and colleges; out of which about half of the students are women.
Some of the top universities in Saudi Arabia, according to the QS University Rankings, include King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), King Saud University (KSU), King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Umm Al-qura University (UQU), King Khalid University, and King Faisal University.
Saudi government, government universities and colleges in the country offer a number of scholarships for international students to ease their financial burden. Individual institutions also offer their own scholarships to foreign students. Some of the scholarships offered in Saudi Arabia include King Abdulaziz University Scholarships in Saudi Arabia, Effat University Full Scholarship in Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Fellowship For Saudi Arabian and International Students, and KAUST Fellowship Program for PhD and MS/Phd level in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is an ideal educational destination for international students. Many foreign students are offered higher studies for free in Saudi Arabia. Students who take admission to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology are provided with a fellowship that covers tuition, housing, medical and dental coverage, and about $US 30,000 annual living expenses.
The country offers good opportunities for international students. Though the country employs roughly 8 million foreign workers – most of them are manual labourers – there are many opportunities for graduates with master’s degrees in petroleum and financial industries. Other potential industries for international workers include information technology, healthcare, teaching, construction and telecommunications. Saudi Arabia offers professional foreign workers high salaries that are tax-free, with perks such as accommodation and transport thrown in.
As the country has one of the toughest and most complicated visa procedures in the world, you, being an international student, will need to submit lots of information and documents, and also, you need to be in constant contact with your chosen university. Foreign students looking forward to studying in Saudi Arabia need to submit some of the crucial documents for visa procedure such as original birth certificate, relevant visa fees, medical certificate, police report detailing any criminal record, and approval to travel from your government.