5 More Years for Booming King Abdullah Scholarship
Lucien Zeigler | 2.11.13
Al Arabiya reports that the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which has sent thousands of Saudi students to the United States and elsewhere, has been renewed for another five years in an important step that will strengthen US-Saudi cultural and economic ties. According to Al Arabiya, Minister of Higher Education Khalid Al Angari said the move was “clear proof the kingdom is putting the education of the future generation as a priority.”
“The scholarship program comes as one of many plans to improve the outcome of the Saudi Arabian education system and we only had a 2 percent failure rate among all students we sent oversees in the past 8 years,” the Minister was quoted as saying.
The program is designed as much to educate Saudi students as to facilitate the cultural and academic diffusion between Saudi Arabia and other nations. Each Saudi student who studies abroad brings with them Saudi culture and ideas, and returns to the Kingdom with an expanded understanding of the world beyond the Kingdom’s borders. As such, participants in the program act as mini Ambassadors from the Kingdom to countries all over the world, including the United States.
The growth of the program, managed in part by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), has been staggering – roughly 6,000 Saudi students graduated from US universities in the last year, and it is estimated that 160,000 are currently studying abroad across the world, with one-third of those in the United States.
SACM’s headquarters in the U.S. relocated last year from downtown Washington D.C. to Vienna, Virginia, to a brand new and modern building.
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