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Saudi Arabia to double admissions in specialized colleges for professional courses

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Saudi Arabia’s University Affairs Council has decided to double admissions for major professional courses such as medical, engineering, technical, applied courses, as well as for business administration in various university faculties in the Kingdom.

The council also decided to bring down admissions to half for majors that are not compatible with the labor market requirements.

These were among a series of decisions taken by the council meeting, chaired by Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh.

The council decided to double the number of admissions available in 2020 in specialized colleges for professional courses related to health, engineering, technical, applied sciences and business administration in accordance with the capacity of these colleges. This is aimed at improving the outcomes of the educational process and contributes to meeting the needs of the labor market.

The council’s decisions also included a reduction in admission by no less than 50 percent in majors that are not compatible with the labor market requirements, with an increase in the accommodation of male and female students in quality colleges.

“The decision will be implemented for a period of five years, and its application will be evaluated after three years,” the council says.

“The supervisory committee, headed by deputy president of the council for research and innovation, will follow up on the implementation of the decision.”

The council meeting also decided to expand universities in applying professional certificates for all disciplines in order to raise the skill level of male and female students of universities.

This is in a way preparing them for the labor market in a professional, more efficient and effective manner, and raising the level of competitiveness of male and female students locally and globally. Each university shall add indices of professional and vocational certificates to the university’s annual report.

The council also instructed the universities to take a number of measures. These include the evaluation of the percentage of employment of their graduates for each major; the percentage of employment of part-time and full-time graduates; the percentage of graduates who were employed in their field of study; and inclusion of the average basic and total monthly salary of working graduates in the semi-annual report, which is published on the university’s website.

The indices shall highlight the importance of competition between universities to harmonize their academic programs and the requirements and needs of the local and international labor market.

With these decisions, the council aims to enable universities to keep pace with future aspirations as well as to meet the national requirements, with further raising the efficiency of the outputs and performance of the Kingdom’s university education system and that is in line with the best international practices being pursued by universities.

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