Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The United States is the country of choice for Saudi students seeking to acquire a higher education. The US topped a list of 24 countries that will receive Saudi students who have been offered scholarships as part of the third stage of the Program of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz for Foreign Scholarships. A total of 1,622 students will study in American universities this year.
The Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia recently revealed that Canada is the second most popular country for Saudi students since 1,578 students will be sent to Canadian universities. Australia ranked third with 1,374 Saudi students heading for that country followed by the United Kingdom that will host 1,283 Saudi students.
The Ministry stated that it will organize the second forum for male and female students involved in the overseas scholarship program that would be held under the auspices of the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed al Anqari in three regions from January 1, 2008.
In the Saudi capital Riyadh, the forum will be held from 1-8 January at the Taj Madarim Hotel, east of Riyadh. The forum will be attended by the final candidates involved in the program from Riyadh, Al Qassim, Hail, Al Jawf and the Northern Borders Region who will complete their studies in Australia, the United States, Britain, [the Republic of] Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia and Hungary. Students from the Eastern Province of Saudi who will study in the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia and Hungary will also take part in the Riyadh forum. Moreover, students from all over the kingdom who will be studying in Spain, China, Germany, Austria, India, Japan, Ukraine, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and [South] Korea, will also participate in the Riyadh forum.
As for students from the Eastern Province, they will attend a forum to be held at the Le Meridien Hotel Al Khobar on 13-14 January. Another forum will be held for students from the western region of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel from 22-25 January 2008. This forum will include students from Mecca, Medina, Tabouk, Asir, Al Baha, Najran and Jizan.
A total of 6,963 male and female students who have been offered scholarships will take part in these forums and study at universities throughout 24 countries worldwide. Most students hoped to study in four countries; the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain.
The preparation program that is implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education involves looking at psychological, social, religious, moral and academic issues for students. Students are told about problems they might encounter abroad and proposed solutions to these problems are discussed. In addition, the responsibility of presenting a positive and distinguished image of Saudi Arabia in other countries, and achieving the aspirations of the nation to fulfil its needs in various fields and academic disciplines in the future, are highlighted.
The forums will also offer information about the various countries to which students will be sent; their legal systems and differences between these countries and the Saudi kingdom, education abroad and regulations as well as the responsibility of students and what is expected from them. The program also refers to methods of self-development and how to achieve academic success and entails social and psychological preparation for students and looks at the morals of a Muslim individual and his/her relationship with others.