Currently, there are 1,130 international students from 45 different nations enrolled at King Khalid University. Vice Rector of Academic Affairs, Dr. Saad Muhammad Du'ajim, confirmed that the General Administration of Scholarship Students has approved the enrollment of an additional 200 students from 14 countries for the current academic year.
Vice Rector Du'ajim went on to explain: "The university is providing scholarships in a wide-range of areas of study to distinguished students from all over the world. We want to attract some of the world’s best students in different disciplines. By offering them access to cutting-edge, advanced education, everyone will benefit. The university will gain the perspective and talents of the best other cultures have to offer. The students will be able to take their world-class education back to help improve their own countries. Building relationships between and among nations is a beneficial and central aspect of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which will be furthered by such cultural exchanges. Also, international inclusiveness in scientific and technological fields supports the objective of further advancing the Saudi economy as set forth in Vision 2030."
He then further stressed that our international students span both the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels of education. He noted that the large majority of international students are permanent residents of the Kingdom while a significant and growing number travel from their home countries. He also noted that a significant percentage of our international students are women and at their respective campuses.
"The university is working diligently to provide a strong foundation for international research and provide an environment that fosters technological innovation. Our objectives are high; our research efforts will be done in accordance with the highest international scientific and educational standards. His Excellency King Khalid University Rector, Prof. Falleh R. M. Al-Solamy, has clearly and unequivocally stated that the international scholarship program is a high priority. We will ensure that this program is a continued success," said General Administration of Scholarships Supervisor, Dr. Saeed Al-Shahrani.
In addition to academic scholarship, the university will also provide certain non-scholastic programs and activities designed to help the students and make their academic life at King Khalid University a more pleasant and enriching experience. The university has appointed a select group of qualified trainers who are responsible for helping the international students become accustomed to university life and integrating into the local community.
Beside non-academic training programs, the university also offers leisure and entertainment activities for the benefit of the international students. Our students work very hard and of course need some rest and recreational diversions. These leisure-related activities also bring the students and teachers together at a personal level and enhance intercultural understanding. The Deanship of Student Affairs has been and will continue to be an integral part of this effort. By supporting interactions off-campus through a scholarship student club, and by way of various events on-campus, the deanship fosters a strong sense of community among all of the students both international and domestic. This effort is bolstered by the "Grass Roots Program", which honors outstanding scholarship and motivates students to be the best they can be.
One of the major challenges of international scholarship is keeping the lines of communication between the students and the host open. Often times, once students leave the host country, communication ceases. At King Khalid University, our scholarship program will focus on maintaining that mutually beneficial relationship long after the students return home. By nurturing continued collaborative programs between and among the different countries, the former students can continue to serve as ambassadors for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This will continue to enhance the Kingdom’s reputation on the world stage.
Maintaining these international relationships will be a significant challenge for the General Administration for Scholarship Students staff. As per Rector Al-Solamy's and Vice Rector Du'ajjim's instructions, the administrators have established an innovative management program that ensures continued collaboration, communication, and scheduled follow-up complete with periodic reviews. Each team member will be personally accountable for making sure that the program objectives are continuously met.
Clearly, the international scholarship effort is a high priority for the university. In addition to the foregoing, see supra., please note the following additional details regarding the General Administration of Scholarship Students:
- Spreading the message of moderate Islam and teaching the Arabic language;
- Exploring the relationship between Islam and scientific development;
- Fostering cooperation between and among Islamic scientific institutions in humanitarian efforts;
- Supporting the “Elite Program”, which is a distinguished group of student leaders who are at the forefront of academic, scientific, and managerial prowess for international cooperation in science and technology;
- Sponsoring attendance in various conferences, symposiums, and scientific seminars both within and outside of the Kingdom;
- Hosting the Folklore Ceremony which is a carnival celebrating and highlighting the different nations, cultures, and regional heritages throughout the world. This serves to deepen the understanding between and among the domestic and international students.