Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

158 Thousand Syrian Students Enrolled in Saudi Schools, Universities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 photo, a Jordanian teacher talks to Syrian refugee students at a school in Amman, Jordan. (AP Photo/Ahmad Alameen)

Riyadh – Around 158,000 Syrian students are currently enrolled in schools and universities across Saudi Arabia.

In remarks to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday, the executive director of Saudi Arabia’s National Campaign to Support Syrians in need, Mubarak Al-Bakr, said that 150,000 Syrian students were currently pursuing general education in the Kingdom, while 8,400 others were enrolled in universities and colleges.

He added that the Kingdom has offered many privileges to Syrian students, including free books, tuitions and medical coverage.

The government also allows Syrian nationals to enter the Saudi job market upon their graduation, Al-Bakr said.

“[Saudi Arabia] does not regard Syrian nationals as refugees; they have legal resident permits, which give them full access to schools, hospitals, accommodation and job opportunities,” he noted.

Al Bakr added that since the eruption of the Syrian crisis, Saudi Arabia gave Syrian nationals the right to have legal residency free of any conditions.

He also noted that the Kingdom was the leading donor of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and the biggest contributor to U.N. programs in this regard.

In this context, Saudi ministerial authorities said that the Kingdom’s contribution to support the Syrian population has reached $226.6 million since the eruption of the Syrian crisis.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia adopted a new policy that allows all Syrian students residing in the country to enroll in public schools. The policy also offered all types of facilities to help Syrians, who were forced to flee their country, to continue their education in the Kingdom.