Saudi Student Clubs in Australia Commemorate Saudi Founding Day

The Saudi Student Clubs in Australia commemorated Saudi Founding Day nationwide. Ceremonies were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, with attendance from Saudi students, families, friends, and senior universities’ staff. The events featured theatrical and poetic performances, along with visual presentations showcasing various projects aligned with Vision 2030

Saudi Student Clubs Host Iftar Events Across Australian Cities

Saudi student clubs in Australia have arranged a series of Iftar gatherings during the holy month of Ramadan. These events, along with other club activities, aim to enhance spiritual and cultural connections among Saudi scholarship students residing in Australia.

The experience of a Saudi PHD candidate student in Australia: Dr. Abeer Zaher Alalmaie

In this recording, PHD candidate student Dr.Abeer AlAlmaie talks about her experience in her research on cybersecurity at UTS University

Visit by University Delegation from Queensland and Edith Cowan to SACM

During February 2024, His Excellency Dr. Abdulbari Altamni, the Acting Cultural Attaché to Australia & New Zealand, welcomed a delegation from the University of Queensland and Edith Cowan. Discussions centered around enhancing collaboration and partnerships, with Dr. Altamni underscoring the importance of supporting all Saudi students throughout their studies in Australia.

The University of Wollongong to Open a New Campus in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Investment Minister, Wollongong Univ. License Ceremony

Saudi Arabia is planning to host the branches of two foreign universities – one from the United States and another from Australia – and has launched a new visa initiative aimed at attracting foreign students and facilitating their academic journey in Saudi Arabia.
The two educational initiatives are part of a bid to turn Saudi Arabia into a global education hub.
The ‘Study in Saudi Arabia’ visa programme was launched by Saudi’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Human Capability Initiative conference held in Riyadh from 28 February to 29 February.
It will improve procedures for foreign students wishing to study in Saudi Arabia and support a global learning hub for over 132,000 international students, researchers and professors, according to the press release on 1 March.
The educational visa will be issued through the ‘Study in Saudi Arabia’ platform, specifically designed for international students who wish to pursue their studies in the Saudi universities.
The platform enables international students to submit applications for admission to short-term and long-term academic, training and research programmes at Saudi universities in an easier and simpler way.
Additionally, the new educational visa programme aims to attract foreign academics to Saudi Arabia to boost its educational and research sectors.
The news of progress towards the establishment of branches of Australia’s University of Wollongong (UOW) and the United States’ Arizona State University on Saudi soil was also announced at the conference.
The two initiatives are aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 which aims to diversify the economy and foster a knowledge-based society by attracting and retaining worldwide talent, establishing foreign university branches and increasing private sector involvement in shaping the future of higher education by 2030.

Australian campus
According to the 3 March press release, the ministries of education and investment have issued an investment license to UOW in Australia as a part of preparations to establish a local branch in collaboration with Saudi’s Digital Knowledge Company.
“This is the first investment license awarded to a foreign university and is a requisite first step to permit foreign companies to legally operate and conduct businesses activities in Saudi Arabia,” stated the 29 February press release issued by the UOW global enterprise.
University of Wollongong in Saudi Arabia (UOWS) will be the second branch of UOW in the Arab Gulf States after the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A UOW spokesperson told University World News: “UOW Global Enterprises is undertaking detailed market and legal analysis to support the development of a business case for a potential higher education institution in Saudi Arabia.”

The spokesperson said: “Further detailed works, as well as internal and external approvals, are required before any operations can begin.”

More details of this event: University World News

Future Events in Saudi Arabia

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A luxurious Ramadan experience, and a unique Iftar/Suhoor feast that brings to life a distinctive social Ramadan ambiance offering a different menu every week with the most delicious dishes prepared by professional chefs of both Saudi cuisines.

Tickets: Iftar: 150 riyals for adults, 50 for children from 3 to 12 years. Sohour: 130 riyals for adults, 50 for children from 3 to 12 years.

  Date: 11 Jan 2024 – 10 Mar 2024 – Time: 4 pm – 2 am

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Embark on an enchanting journey that immerses you in the rich and vibrant culture of Ramadan, featuring a captivating showcase of traditions. This extraordinary experience unfolds through five meticulously crafted stations, each offering a unique glimpse into the essence of Ramadan in Jeddah Historic District “AlBalad”.

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Set within At-Turaif’s beautiful park, Souq Al-Mawsim centers on Diriyah’s unique culture and heritage and is the place to source seasonal, locally-grown fresh produce, as well as local craft items and special finds from across its many stalls. The souq, with its line-up of performances and cultural activations, makes a great day out for families and groups of friends.

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A special Ramadan Atmosphere at Ramadan Promenade! Unforgettable details combined with joy around every corner.

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Fawanees is an annual event organized by Makkah Chamber in the holy month of Ramadan for the seventh season in a row, it contains several different Social, Cultural and Entertainment focused activities that are distinguished by the spirit of Ramadan.

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As part of the Ramadan sports tournaments, the Video Games Tournament is being held for the second time in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports, represented by the Saudi Electronic Sports Federation.

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Knock Knock! It’s a fun run time with Gergean, combining the joy of festivities with the purpose of being active. Lace up and join us on Thursday, March 28th, 2024, for a run that makes a difference during the holy month of Ramadan. Bring the family and change the routine and let’s celebrate Gergean together!

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Saudi Arabia Launches First International Music Academy in Taif

Date of publishing: 26 February 2024

Saudi Arabia’s first international music academy, the Nahawand Center, was launched in Taif on Sunday. A cooperation agreement was signed between the Nahawand Academy of Arts and the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music.

The Gnesins Academy is among Russia’s most important international academies and one of the oldest globally, having been established over 120 years ago. It also has branches in the US, the UK, France, and other countries. Abdullah Rashad, general supervisor of Nahawand Center, said that the cooperation aims to enhance the competency of those working in the music field in the Kingdom. “It also seeks to support talents and practitioners in music and arts, aligning with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” he said.

The objective is to ensure that the “music sector contributes to the local economy and creates job opportunities,” he added.

Ahmed Al-Shamrani, executive director of Nahawand Center, stated that the academy will focus on developing educational programs and musical research, accrediting official certificates for international trainees, and exchanging teachers, students, and joint academic work.

The partnership will also involve the organization of cultural events between the Kingdom and Russia. Angie Zadan, representative of Gnesins Academy, welcomed the partnership, adding that the exchange of expertise and qualitative experiences will refine people’s musical taste, as well as develop creative content.

She added that the impact of the partnership will reach both practitioners in the field and enthusiasts, noting that it represents a significant opportunity to introduce people to the history and musical arts of both countries.

During the ceremony, a band performed the folk dance known as majrour, popular in Taif. An art exhibition was also held on the occasion.

Attendees toured the academy’s various departments, including the piano and vocal warm-ups department where some students performed, the oud and oriental singing department, and the content creation pavilion.

The event also included several musical performances by a number of the Nahawand Center’s students.

The Nahawand Center is accredited by the General Authority of Media Regulation and the General Entertainment Authority in the arts, talents and music sector.

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Internet Governance Forum Set for Riyadh in December

Above, participants during the IGF Leadership Panel Meeting on Feb. 25 to 27 in Riyadh. (IGF file photo)

Saudi Arabia will host the 19th session of the Internet Governance Forum at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh from Dec. 15 to 19, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The annual event, organized by the UN, focuses on addressing policy issues related to internet governance.

Discussions will focus on how governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations can collaborate to face future challenges.

The Kingdom has been enhancing its capabilities in communications, information technology and digital governance as part of Saudi Vision 2030.

Last year’s edition of the IGF was held in Kyoto, Japan. Date of publishing: 25 March 2024

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Ramadan in Saudi Arabia ‘like nowhere else’

With twinkling lights turned on and the smell of freshly fried samosas in the air, Muslim and non-Muslim expat households across the Kingdom join in observing the holy month of Ramadan, marked by its spiritual nature and family-centric values.

Expats share both their excitement and expected challenges as they observe Ramadan away from home.

Croatian designer Tina Sablic has made a gradual move to Riyadh over the past few years, which she described as an enriching experience. Now, as a Riyadh resident, she is finally experiencing her first Ramadan.

“While I don’t celebrate Ramadan through fasting, I deeply respect its significance and the cultural practices associated with it. However, I do plan to make adjustments to my own fasting plan during this time as a sign of solidarity and respect for the observance,” she told Arab News.

She acknowledged that the holy month is a time of self-reflection, self-awareness and self-discipline. In hectic, fast-paced daily schedules and lifestyle, it becomes a period of calm as the rhythm of life slows down.

“Since it is my first-time experiencing Ramadan in Riyadh, I’m expecting to see vibrant night atmospheres with all of the festive lights, beautifully decorated streets and mosques and sounds of evening prayers. Sharing iftar meals with friends, colleagues and other expats will hopefully become a cherished tradition,” she said.

As a non-Muslim celebrating Ramadan away from home, one of her primary challenges is adjusting to the changes in the local environment and daily routines. This may include adapting to altered business hours, meal schedules, and social activities during the fasting period.

“Social interactions and understanding the etiquette surrounding Ramadan customs and practices can also be a bit challenging. However, my amazing Saudi friends have guided me properly and their mentorship was so helpful in overcoming any cultural gaps,” she added.

Pakistani resident Ifrah Mahmood has lived in Saudi Arabia since the ripe age of 9. After a difficult time adjusting, she is proud to now call it home. For her, the Ramadan period is a symbol of peace, tranquility, and a way to grow closer to Allah.

While she misses having iftar, sahoor, and indulging in the spirit with her family, she said that celebrating Ramadan in Saudi Arabia is unlike any other, and she cannot wait for the last 10 days in particular when Muslims immerse in deeper worship.

She said: “I have been celebrating Ramadan in Saudi Arabia for many years now. Ramadan here is like nowhere else. Everyone is kinder, the mosques are always open … night prayers and festivities make it so special.

For residents of the Kingdom, Ramadan represents a period of calm as the rhythm of life slows down, providing opportunities to form new traditions and experience the spiritual month. (Supplied/Ramadan Season/Visit Saudi)

“The change of routine is what I enjoy the most. The office timings are shortened which is a perk you can’t get in most of the non-Muslim countries. The markets are open all night long. It gives Eid vibes even before Eid.”

French creative Cecilia Pitre came to work in the Kingdom after the COVID-19 pandemic and was drawn to stay in the country mainly due to the hospitality of its people. “They’re very welcoming,” she said.

“What made me stay as well is the culture — it’s full of colors. There’s a lot of things to learn because this country was, at least for Europe, a little bit veiled and undiscovered. Not many people in Europe know about Saudi Arabia, but when we’re here we discover a country full of history, culture, art, fashion. There are so many things to do and to see!”

Pitre has celebrated a few Ramadan seasons before, but the creative plans to try a full fast this year. While she has been able to restrain from food, she has found it difficult to cut out water as well. She also plans to reduce other forbidden elements during Ramadan such as smoking, gossiping, and excessive screen time.

“As a foreigner and a non-Muslim, I’m taking the Ramadan period to actually learn more about the religion, read more about Islam, and understand what the fasting process is and what it brings to the people, whether Muslim or non-muslim … I’m trying to follow Ramadan at my speed, which is also something I think we should do more often.”

With abundant invitations from locals to share iftar and sahoor, Pitre plans to take this opportunity to indulge further into the culture and understand the significance of the dining practices.

Living on Tahlia Road, one of Riyadh’s most prominent dining streets, she witnesses the bustling crowd of families and friends making Ramadan memories as the night ascends.

“What I love about Ramadan is the decorations everywhere, the lights, the joy. Everybody’s happy and going out at night,” she said. “The vibe is unbelievable.”

Pitre says she does not face any challenges spending Ramadan away from France as Saudi Arabia has embraced the creative with open arms.

“If there’s any place to spend Ramadan in, it’s definitely Saudi Arabia, which I consider my second home,” she said.

Published date: 24 March 2024

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Saudi Arabia Introduces New study Visa Program for International Students

Saudi Arabia has introduced an educational visa service for international students, aiming to simplify the process for those wishing to study there. The “Study in Saudi Arabia” visa program, launched by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, streamlines visa issuance through a dedicated platform.

Saudi Arabia has launched an educational visa issuance service for international students wishing to study in the Middle East nation.

To facilitate procedures for students wishing to study in Saudi Arabia, the “Study in Saudi Arabia” visa program was launched by Saudi’s Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) during the Human Capacity Initiative conference in Riyadh on February 29.

The visa will be issued through the “Study in Saudi Arabia” platform, specifically designed for international students who aspire to study in Saudi universities. In addition to this, it will also simplify the application process for the students.

The platform provides selection of educational opportunities, spanning from short courses to extensive academic programs, meeting the needs of different academic interests and career goals. It encourages collaboration in academia and culture, supporting Saudi Arabia’s dedication to enhancing the education sector and attracting skilled individuals for the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.

More details of this event: The Economic Times

Saudi Arabia Higher Education Sector Needs 800k Seat Expansion by 2030: Report

Students walk at the campus of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in Saudi Arabia’s western Red Sea town of Thuwal, about 80 kilometres north of Jeddah, 

Saudi Arabia has the largest – and most in demand – higher education sector in the Gulf and will need an extra 800,000 seats by 2030 to cope with surging requirements, a new report has found.

Many of those seats will be for university places in specialized courses covering technology, artificial intelligence and sustainable energy amidst a future shift towards a cleaner – and more technologically-driven future.

Mansoor Ahmed, director for healthcare, education and PPP at Colliers International, which has unveiled its latest report on the educational landscape in the Kingdom, said Saudi Arabia’s higher education sector stands as the largest individual education market across the Arabian Gulf region with a staggering two million students enrolled in 2022.

Notably, 95 percent of these students are enrolled in public and semi-public institutions, underlining a significant reliance on the public sector for higher education, he said.

This reliance is attributed to the perception of higher quality and job prospects offered by public institutions.

Colliers’ market report: ‘Higher Education in KSA: Changing Demand in line with Vision 2030’ delves into the current and projected size of the higher education market in KSA by 2030, shedding light on the shifting dynamics of higher education aligned with Vision 2030, and emphasizing opportunities for investors, developers and operators.

As part of Vision 2030’s economic transformation, the Saudi government aims to increase private sector involvement in higher education.

Ahmed said: “As economic transformation and diversification programs under Vision 2030 and the Saudization drive are expected to spur demand for higher education, Colliers foresees a shift in demand from traditional offerings towards Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotic sciences, nuclear energy, sustainable energy, renewable energy, solar energy, etc.”

“The demand is expected to shift towards evidence-based Research & Development (R&D) studies, taking into consideration the economic transformation agenda under Vision 2030 and the changing market dynamics, rather than traditional fields of study, to overcome the mismatch between the degrees, skills and requirements of the employment market.”

Expecting a future demand surge in health, hospitality and SME sectors, Colliers emphasizes the requirement to cultivate local talent, especially in technical roles.

With the Saudization drive gaining momentum, the report advocates for a concerted effort to meet the escalating demand for skilled professionals, particularly in healthcare and hospitality.

The report projects the total demand for higher education to reach 2.75 million seats by 2030, stressing the need for additional seats – an increase of more than 800,000 compared to 2022.

Colliers suggests that the private sector, akin to the UAE and Egypt, should consider establishing branch campuses of international universities within the Kingdom, targeting institutions hosting a significant number of Saudi students.

More details of this event: Alarabiya News

Huawei, Saudi Universities Sign Talent Development MoUs

Chinese technology giant Huawei on Tuesday signed with several Saudi universities talent development Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, according to a statement by Huawei.

The MoUs aim to provide universities, including the King Khalid University (KKU), the University of Jeddah, and Shaqra University, with advanced technologies to nurture and empower students through Huawei ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Academy, said the statement.

Liam Zhao, chairman of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said, “Huawei is proud to partner with leading universities as part of our continuous efforts to support universities in the kingdom in cultivating ICT talent that meets industry requirements, providing high-quality talent for industry development.”

KKU President Falleh Al-Solamy said the appetite for advanced technologies among the young local talents in Saudi Arabia is very high. “Therefore, we are confident that collaborating with a leading technology company such as Huawei will be a great success,” he added.

Representatives from Huawei and Shaqra University sign talent development Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 5, 2024. Chinese technology giant Huawei on Tuesday signed with several Saudi universities’ talent development MoUs on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, according to a statement by Huawei. (Xinhua/Wang Haizhou)

Representatives from Huawei and the University of Jeddah sign talent development Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 5, 2024. Chinese technology giant Huawei on Tuesday signed with several Saudi universities’ talent development MoUs on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, according to a statement by Huawei. (Xinhua/Wang Haizhou)

More details of this event: XINHUANET News

Representatives from Huawei and the University of Jeddah sign talent development Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 5, 2024. Chinese technology giant Huawei on Tuesday signed with several Saudi universities talent development MoUs on the sidelines of the LEAP Tech Conference 2024 held in Riyadh, according to a statement by Huawei. (Xinhua/Wang Haizhou)

Study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides opportunities for all students from around the world to study in its various distinguished universities. To know more about submission dates for students outside Saudi Arabia, please use the following link: Study in Saudi Arabia (

To learn more about the advantages of studying in the KSA, please watch the following video:

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Best Universities in Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz University

With one of the fastest-growing higher education systems in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia offers a number of world-class institutions. Sixteen Saudi universities are ranked in the QS World University Rankings®, and the nation claims 24 of the top 100 universities in the Arab region, in the QS Arab Region University Rankings.

As in many countries worldwide, universities in Saudi Arabia offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, generally lasting four years, two years and three to four years respectively. While international students are generally accepted into the leading Saudi universities, restrictions among other lesser-known universities are likely to vary, and admission for female students is limited to a select few universities and women-only institutions.

Facilities at the leading universities in Saudi Arabia are second to none, thanks to the nation’s ongoing and significant investment in higher education. The wealth invested comes largely from the country’s vast fuel resources – including approximately 20% of the planet’s oil reserves – which has powered the nation’s rapid development over the last half-century, with a strong impact on trade, business, tourism, education, technology, transport, architecture and culture, particularly within the key cities.

Given the importance of the energy sector to the country, it’s no surprise that Saudi universities are especially well-renowned for oil and gas engineering degree programs. Those who wish to stay on and work in the country will also find lucrative graduate career prospects offered in these sectors.

Students new to the country and culture should note that all Saudi universities uphold Islamic laws and beliefs as enforced by the state.

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) was founded in 1967 and has more than 82,000 students, with separate campuses for men and women. These are located in the city of Jeddah, and designed by well-known English architect John Elliott.

King Abdulaziz University features in the top 120 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject for mechanical engineering, agriculture & forestry and pharmacy. It also offers faculties in a wide range of subject areas, including art and design, humanities, sciences, medicine, pharmacy, business, law and dentistry.

As well as offering a range of on-campus undergraduate and graduate programs, King Abdulaziz University also teaches a distance learning program.

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals was established in 1963. It’s located in the city of Dhahran, an important center for the country’s oil industry, and has a current enrollment of more than 7,000 students. Female students are not admitted.

Despite its name, King Fahd University in fact offers courses in a wide array of subjects, covering traditional disciplines as well as engineering, science and business. It does perform particularly well for those subject areas though, and in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, it’s ranked among the world’s top 25 universities for mineral and mining engineering, as well as the top 100 for chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering.

Established in 1957, King Saud University is of a similar level of prestige to King Fahd University, however it has more of a focus on the life sciences alongside engineering. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, King Saud University is ranked among the world’s top 150 for mechanical engineering, agriculture and pharmacy.

Located in the capital city of Riyadh, King Saud University currently enrolls a total of 51,000 students, of which more than 1,100 are internationals. Female students are admitted.

Other universities in Saudi Arabia which feature in the top 50 of the QS Arab Region University Rankings are: Umm Al-qura University, King Khalid University, King Faisal University, Alfaisal University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU) (formerly UNIVERSITY OF DAMMAM) and Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU). 

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