Wednesday, May 31, 2006

King Faisal University

Bismillah Arrahman AlRaheem: In the Name of Allah The Most Beneficient The Most Merciful

Salam All,

I usually don't post twice in one day, but this was something that I lived through the discussion of till the matter came to be reality. THis university is planning some cooperation with University's like MIT (where I heard about it the first time a few years ago). Alhamdulillah it has materialized and we can rest assured that it will make its mark on the Saudi society..

Sultan Launches Alfaisal University
Naif Al-Shehri, Arab News

Crown Prince Sultan launches Alfaisal University in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo by Khaled Al-Khamees)

RIYADH, 31 May 2006 — Crown Prince Sultan launched Alfaisal University, a world-class institution of higher learning with advanced academic facilities, here yesterday. It will have four faculties for science, business, medicine and engineering and will have a capacity to accommodate 4,000 students.

The crown prince laid the foundation stone for the high-tech private university at Maader District in the capital city in the presence of a large number of dignitaries including senior princes, ministers, top government officials and foreign diplomats.

Prince Sultan donated SR20 million to the university — SR5 million to each faculty. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, managing director of King Faisal Foundation (KFF), which launched the university project, said Alfaisal would provide 40 scholarships to outstanding students annually. The scholarship program is named after Sultan.

Prince Khaled, who is also governor of the Asir region, said the university would apply modern methodology of teaching and encourage students to conduct research by themselves and improve their skills. English will be the medium of instruction at the four faculties.

Prince Bandar ibn Saud, KFF deputy managing director, said the university would bring about total change in the Saudi society.

“We look at education as an agent of change in Saudi Arabia,” he added. He said the university enjoyed the support of authorities “to become the benchmark for other universities in Saudi Arabia”.

He expected that Alfaisal would become the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or the Cambridge of the Middle East. Bandar signed an agreement last year with Malaysian architectural firm Ahmad Zaki Resources Berhad, represented by Managing Director Wan Zakariah Muda, to build the university.

“In line with the philanthropic and autonomous nature of the foundation’s existing commitments, this nonprofit institution will embody the essential values of independence, distinction and integrity,” Bandar said.

Alfaisal offers bachelor’s degree courses in different specializations of engineering, science, medicine and administration technology in the first phase. In later phases it will provide master’s and doctoral degrees, Bandar said.

The university’s board of trustees reflects the broad sets of disciplines and arenas that the university represents and the eleven members are from the following organizations: The King Faisal Foundation, Dallah AlBaraka, Al-Jomaih Company, Saudi Oger, Saudi Binladin Group, KFSH&RC, British Aerospace Electronics Company, Boeing Company, United Technologies Corporation and THALES.

The campus itself will be set in the austere surroundings of King Faisal’s palace in Maader and will host the four main faculties. With the original palace serving as the administration quarters and forming the focal point of the site, the other buildings will be arranged in a semi-circular fashion around it.

The new academic buildings will be constructed from donations of various benefactors and will bear their names. The library will be housed in the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal building, the Conference Center in the Princess Haya Bint Turki building, the Science Faculty in the Prime Minister Rafik Hariri building, the Business Faculty in the Sheikh Saleh Al-Kamel building and the Student Center in the Dr. Nasser Al-Rasheed building. The construction of the university mosque was commissioned on behalf of Princess Jowharah bint Khaled.

Although construction of the university is due to take place in four major phases, two of these so far have been signed. The initial phase will last for approximately 14-and-a-half months incorporating the mosque, the Science Faculty, support services, underground parking and outside work. The subsequent phase has a predicted duration of 21 months and will culminate in construction of the Business Faculty, Student Centers, Conference Center, Library and other related car parking and outside work.

The grounds of King Faisal Palace in Maader will be reconstructed to take on the new home of Alfaisal University. The palace is located in the historical center of Riyadh.

Alfaisal aims to become an internationally acknowledged outstanding institution for education and academic research. It will contribute to the advancement of Saudi Arabia by means of education, training, research and technological advancements, an official statement said.

Alfaisal aims to become a model university that would accommodate a new cooperative approach with leading technical institutions in major industrial countries. It will create opportunities for Saudi youth to attain professional qualifications that would support them in securing future careers.



-YSH ;)


Blogger SunShine said...

That is kind of ambitious isn't it? MIT is 140+ years old. I think it's laudable that KSA aspires to reach to that level, but they shouldn't *assume* it.

In addition, MIT isn't MIT because someone threw money at it. KSA is missing the whole infrastructure that is required to support research and innovation.

one more question: are they admitting women? ;) If yes, I would be the first to go back and contribute!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Raven said...


MIT is MIT because of the people, the vision, and the money that made all their research plasuible.

As for the infrastructure, I disagree, King Faisal Hospital has done several breakthroughs in science and medicine, I should know my father has been there for more than 25 years.. :)

Yes, AlFaisal University will admit women, and international students, i.e. Americans and students from all over the world will be welcome!

(according to the ambassador Prince Turki AlFaisal's speech at MIT in february).


12:52 PM  

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