RIYADH — The Saudi Council of Universities Affairs has decided to convert 40 theoretical colleges, located in various governorates, into applied colleges specialized in health, technology and engineering. By this, the number of applied colleges in the Kingdom would rise to 75.
The council, headed by Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh, took this decision. The colleges that will be converted into applied colleges include some theoretical colleges for humanities and literature, and university colleges that do not comply with the requirements of the labor market in accordance with their missions and specializations.
The council approved the classification of the model Saudi universities into five categories. These are comprehensive, pedagogical, research, specialized, and applied.
The basic qualitative criteria for these five models include the main performance indices; the goal, the type of programs offered by the university, its organizational structure and operating model, funding and financial efficiency, and enrollment of students. These criteria aimed to enhance differentiation between universities, raise the level of specialization and focus, enhance the efficiency of their operation, raise the level of added value to society and the nation with a road map to focus strategies for these universities, and to improve the quality of education outputs in line with the requirements of the national, regional and global labor market.
The council decided to rationalize admission to other theoretical academic programs in the colleges that are not compatible with the needs of the labor market. Another decision of the council is to increase the number of admissions to the applied colleges by accommodating male and female students in more than 80 applied programs that are more compatible with the needs of development, the labor market and the national need.
The council took a decision to address the situation of college branches, departments and divisions whose creation was not issued by decisions of the council or the Higher Education Council, taking into account of the completion of registered students until the graduation of the last batch. This is with the absorption of new students in the programs of applied colleges or programs of colleges close to them or at the university’s main headquarters according to the target specializations, and in line with the needs of the labor market.
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