University Studies In Saudi Arabia (Part 1)
Education is a requirement for every Muslim, both male and female. The Holy Qur’an and the Hadith [teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad] repeatedly emphasize the importance of learning.
Knowledge is the most important favor of Allah (SWT) as referenced below in the Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Alaq:
3) اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ
[Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.]
4) الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ
[Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.]
5) عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ
[He has taught man that which he knew not.]
The thing that distinguishes a man from every other creation of Allah (SWT) is his knowledge. Allah (SWT) ordered the angels to prostrate before Adam (SAW), the first human being, because of his superiority over them in knowledge.
Saudi Arabia’s educational system has gone through an astonishing transformation. When the Kingdom was established in 1932, education was available to very few people, mostly the children of wealthy families living in the major cities. Today, Saudi Arabia’s educational system includes 25 public and some private universities, with more planned; some 30,000 schools; and a large number of colleges and other institutions. The system is open to all citizens, and provides students with free education, books and health services.
While the study of Islam remains at its core, the modern Saudi educational system also provides quality instruction in diverse fields of arts and sciences. This diversity helps the Kingdom prepare its citizens for life and work in a global economy. The education system in Saudi Arabia, is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training. The other authorities involved are the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, the Presidency of the National Guard, and the Ministry of the Interior for providing their affiliates and children with kindergarten, elementary, intermediate, secondary and adult education. Despite this, however, study plans and curricula are formulated by the Ministry of Education. The highest authority that supervises education in Saudi Arabia is the Supreme Committee for Educational Policy which was established in 1963.
Education in Saudi Arabia has four special characteristics: an emphasis on Islam, a centralized educational system, separate education for men and women, and state financial support. Islam is the core of each Muslim’s curriculum, with time each week devoted to the study of the Muslim sacred text, the Qur’an, Islamic tradition, jurisprudence, and theology from primary through higher education.
Higher education in Saudi Arabia lasts four years in the field of humanities and social sciences and five to six years in the field of medicine, engineering and pharmacy. The establishment of the King Saud University in 1957 is a starting point of the modern higher education system in Saudi Arabia. This was also the first university in all of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
King Abdul Aziz University is considered a pioneer in offering higher education to the Saudi girls and the female and male sections were inaugurated in the same year. The university not only has regular student programs but it also has an external program that makes it easy for all students to get higher education. The University also established the Deanship of Distant Teaching to cope with the development in learning and teaching technology.
King Abdul Aziz University carries the name of the establisher of Saudi Arabia- God bless him. This university was established in 1387 H / 1967 G as a national university aiming at spreading higher education in the western area of Saudi Arabia. This dream has come true through the continuous efforts of the loyal citizens of this country.
Effat University, based in central Jeddah and on the Red Sea Coast of Western Saudi Arabia, is an accredited female Higher Education Institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Early Childhood Education, English, Engineering, Business & more. In line with the vision of our Board of Trustees in the field of women’s education, this University is committed to elevating women’s academic standards. The aim is to bring academic excellence to local women and to become a community resource for future generations in their quest for progress and self-development.
Dar Al-Hekma College (now Dar Al-Hekma University), just as Effat university, was approved by the Ministry of Higher Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to operate as a degree granting institution of higher education. The academic degree programs of the University are designed to meet national as well as international accreditation standards.