Let Foreign Students Study In Saudi Universities
09 April 2016
By Khaled Almaeena
A university education is a ticket for a job in Saudi Arabia remarked a
You are wrong said another. I have seen many graduates who are not employable
because they don't possess the social skills nor do they have the relevant
knowledge needed for modern-day business and industry.
But we have sent over 100,000 Saudi students abroad and we hope that they will
come back with the required qualities needed for our development.
There are an estimated 4.5 million international students spread across the
globe. Elite universities like Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter in the UK and Ivy
League universities like Harvard, Princeton and Yale in the US lead in
attracting bright minds.
In other countries, such as Australia, there is a great rush to gain admission
to universities that best suit academic requirements. Japan and Malaysia are
also becoming attractive places for foreign students.
Hong Kong and Singapore have become educational capitals. They both now have
five of the world's top 50 universities and half of Asia's top 10. I wonder
where we stand in this respect.
With the goal of achieving diversity in their student population, a number of
American universities offer scholarships to deserving international students.
''Universities no longer operate in isolation,'' said Abid Khan, Deputy Vice
Chancellor and Vice President (Global Engagement) at Monash University in
Australia. He added that the world faces challenges and no single place has
all the answers.
Speaking to the China Daily Asia weekly, he said, ''If you bring people
together, you stand a chance of meeting some of the challenges – such as
climate change, for example.''
This is what education is all about; exposure to different cultures adds
invaluable experience and by bringing minds together it helps resolve common
issues. It helps raise the bar as a free flow of educational levels between
local people and others leads to a partnership, adds variety and creates
In the light of all this, I still wonder why our universities do not allow
foreign students to come and study here.
The authorities can set the ball rolling by allowing the children of
expatriates who are here to take advantage of higher education in the Kingdom.
A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the
World Bank said that cross-border education adds ''variety and choice to
domestic systems which leads to healthy competition and quality enhancement''.
That is what Saudi education needs.
Is that asking for too much?
— The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena