Govt stops postgraduate studies for teachers in Arab states

The Ministry of Education has halted all scholarships for male and female teachers to study postgraduate programs in Arab universities. The ministry has also ceased approvals for such studies on the persons' own expense. Additionally, the ministry stressed that education departments across the Kingdom should not give approval for study leaves to seek postgraduate qualifications in Arab universities.

The decision to stop these scholarships is due to the fact that the specialties which the teachers seek to study are available at Saudi universities. The ministry said new regulations for education department employees who wish to study outside the Kingdom will soon be announced.

Abdul Qader Al-Fantookh, deputy minister for planning and information, said that Saudi universities absorbed all students who wish to study and there are additional seats available for whoever wants to continue postgraduate studies.

"The academic teaching levels of professors of Saudi universities have kept pace with every advanced development in the field of education. Our universities are seeking to acquire academic accreditations of quality either from inside or outside the country," said Al-Fantookh.

The decision comes at a time when the Ministry of Higher Education, before its merger with the Education Ministry, released a survey indicating an increase in the total number of new male and female students in Saudi universities, from 273,000 students in 1430, to 443,000 in 1434.

The survey showed that the number of students enrolled in higher education institutions stood at 1.5 million students, an increase of 79.3 percent over the past four years.

The survey also indicated that the number of graduate students has grown during the period 1429 to 1434 from 123,000 male and female graduates in 1429 to more than 146,000. The total growth proportion of graduates amounted to 19.2 percent.

The ministry stressed the fact that college education represents a long-term national investment which ultimately will play a key role in all sectors of development.

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