SCHOLARSHIPS AND STUDENT SUPPORT The Saudi Model in Canada

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1 SCHOLARSHIPS AND STUDENT SUPPORT The Saudi Model in Canada CBIE S 45 TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION FAISAL AL-MOHANNA ABAALKHAIL Saudi Arabian Cultural Attaché in Canada Ottawa, Ontario November 20,

2 Introduction Issues to be addressed: (I) Role of International Education: Vision and Long Term Objectives; (II) Main Elements of the Saudi International Scholarship Programs; (III) Towards More Effective Support by Canada and Canadian Institutions; (IV) Ways of Mutual Cooperation 2

3 Role of International Education VISION: The Saudi Model To prepare distinguished generations to thrive in a culture of knowledge built on knowledge-based economy Source: Website of the Ministry of Higher Education: 3

4 Role of International Education Main long-term Objective To prepare and qualify Saudi human resources to compete on international levels in the labor market and different fields of scientific research, thereby creating an essential source of highly qualified individuals for the benefit of Saudi universities and research centers as well as other public and private institutions Source: Website of the Ministry of Higher Education: 4

5 Main Elements of the Saudi International Scholarship Programs King Abdullah Scholarship Program Postgraduate Medical Educational Program Academic Programs - Bachelor s - Master s - Doctoral Scholarship Program for Preparing Technical Trainers 5

6 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Introduction Launched on May 25, 2005 to achieve a number of objectives like: To offer qualified Saudis the opportunity to study in the best universities around the world To produce a high level of academic and professional standards To exchange scientific, educational and cultural experience with countries worldwide To create qualified and professional Saudi human resources At present, more than 120,000 Saudi students have already been awarded scholarships through the KASP program to study in various countries around the globe. Source: Website of the Ministry of Higher Education: 6

7 Fields of Study/Training: King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Medicine Dentistry Pharmacy Nursing Other Medical/Health Sciences Engineering Computer Science The Natural Sciences Other Disciplines: law, accounting, e-commerce, finance, insurance and marketing Source: Website of the Ministry of Higher Education: 7

8 Countries of Study: King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Students accepted in the program are currently studying in a number of universities, in countries like: Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, New Zealand, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, People's Republic of China, Malaysia, India, South Africa Source: Website of the Ministry of Higher Education: 8

9 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Postgraduate Medical Training Program Established in Canada in 1978 Highly qualified Saudi doctors are sponsored to pursue medical residency and fellowship training in Canadian medical schools All Saudi residents and fellows provide the same valuable clinical services in Canadian teaching hospitals as their Canadian counterparts More than 4,000 Saudi doctors have received advanced medical training in Canada and have returned to the Kingdom to assume leading roles in Saudi Arabia s health care system More than 1,000 Saudi doctors are currently in Canadian training programs It is estimated that about 300 new Saudi doctors will be admitted to training programs in Canada in July

10 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Academic Programs (Bachelor s, Master s and PhD) Bachelor s: Academic Selection Criteria Score Secondary School Grade above 90% General Aptitude Test 80% Achievement Test 80% Associate Degrees (2 year post-secondary diplomas) Master s & PhD: Minimum GPA of 4.5 out of 5.00 Academic Selection Criteria Degree Score Overall GPA: Master s Bachelor s degree; no less than 3.75 out of 5.00 (or equivalent) PhD Master s degree; no less than overall evaluation of Very Good (or equivalent) Recommendation by an independent academic committee appointed by the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education Selection based on students collective achievements in accordance with the number of available scholarships 10

11 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Nomination Process: Announcement Beginning of registration for KASP announced through major local media outlets and through the Ministry s website Applications Scholarship Application submitted via a link on the Ministry s website dedicated to this effect Screening and Interviews Merit-based screening of applications by a scholarship program committee Interviews Completion of Formalities and Departure Scholarship awarded Departure Scholarship Students Forum An annual forum comprising lectures and symposia providing information on the designated countries Nomination Listing all successful candidates through major local media outlets and through the Ministry s website Transfer of electronic files of all nominees to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Missions in the countries designated 11

12 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) King Abdullah Scholarship Program for Technical Trainers (KASPTT) In addition to the MOHE supervised scholarships, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) administers KASPTT. The program targets graduates from Colleges of Technology and Higher Technical Institutions. The fields of study/training are: Mechanics Electrical Technology Computer Technology Civil and Architectural Technology Chemical Technology Environmental Technology Management Technology Food Technology Travel & Tourism Technology Ornaments/Jewellery design and manufacture Source: Website of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation: 12

13 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Saudi Ministry of Higher Education Saudi Cultural Missions Universities and Colleges Abroad Student Support 13

14 Scholarship Support King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) King Abdullah Scholarships provide financial support for scholarship recipients, including: Monthly stipends of at least CAD$2,700 for each single student (increased if the student is accompanied by his/her spouse and/or other dependants) Full tuition and fees paid directly to the educational institution Cost of attending conferences, symposia and workshops Expenses for field trips (needed for experiments or data collection) Medical insurance for the student and family members Travel to and from Saudi Arabia 14

15 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Ministry of Higher Education Established in 1975 and entrusted with supervision and planning for higher education. Universities - 24 public and 8 private; all affiliated to MOHE Scholarship programs International research agreements and research projects Saudi Arabian Cultural Missions Presently 33 Saudi Arabian Cultural Missions or Bureaus around the world Intermediaries between local educational institutions and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia Facilitating the exchange of scientific and technological expertise Ensuring students educational, cultural and social wellbeing Since the inauguration of KASP, on-going student support has become the primary focus of Cultural Missions The Saudi Cultural Bureau in Canada Established in Ottawa in 1978 under the umbrella of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The administration of the Saudi Postgraduate Medical Program in Canada. Our non-medical academic growth since 2008 has been truly exponential. The Cultural Bureau s monthly disbursements currently exceeds CAD$50 million dollars. Facailitating agreements and research collaboration between Canada and KSA 15

16 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Our Present Student Population in Canada: About 14,000 Saudi scholarship students in Canada with the following distribution: ESL Diploma Bachelor Masters PhD Physicians 108 Training More than 8,000 dependants and family members who are eligible to attend university and whose tuition and expenses are also funded by the Cultural Bureau. * Please note that with new students arriving every day, our statistics are in constant flux, resulting in our numbers being approximate. 16

17 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Increase of Saudi Student Population in Canada Saudi Arabia ,186 1,464 1,593 2,280 4,656 8,738 12,945 Sources: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures, Saudi Students in Canada between 2001 and

18 King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) Increase of Saudi Student Population in Canada: 14,000 12, % 12, The Saudi student population in (2010) increased by 37 percent from the previous year (2009). 10,000 8,738 8,000 6,000 4,000 2, Increase of Saudi Student Population in Canada

19 Towards More Effective Support by Canada and Canadian Institutions Greatest Challenge: Admission to Graduate programs in Canada The Cultural Bureau has to find ways and means to alleviate the graduate admission problems our scholarship students are facing The scholarship program requires that a student must obtain at least a conditional acceptance into graduate school prior to the completion of his or her ESL training. Due to the complexity of graduate admissions in Canada, this is not always possible. The result is that more of our students are transferring to other countries, where admission is considerably less arduous. 19

20 Towards More Effective Support by Canada and Canadian Institutions To Pro-actively Assist Saudi Students in Overcoming Challenges Provide orientation programs for new Saudi students Provide more effective ESL programs Provide pre-university academic preparation programs Provide on-going academic and social support programs Create more capacity in Graduate Programs Assist in the graduate program admission process Advocate KASP amongst faculty and academic departments Adopt a policy of Conditional Admission 20

21 Towards More Effective Support by Canada and Canadian Institutions Thanks to the growing reputation in Saudi Arabia of Canada s universities, more are choosing Canada as a preferred destination for their higher education. Unfortunately, there are a significant number of students that have still not been able to obtain academic acceptances, and others who need academic and/or social support to succeed. In light of the recent and continuing surge in KASP student population, I believe it is in our mutual benefit to work more closely together to strengthen our ties with a view to increasing our academic student population in Canada s Universities and Colleges. With this in mind, I would like to propose that suggestions similar to the ones set out in my earlier slide be considered and implemented by Universities and Colleges in Canada. 21

22 Ways of Mutual Cooperation Entering into Agreements between Canadian and Saudi Universities to provide for various levels of cooperation, including: Academic Partnerships Research Partnerships (see next slide) University-to-University Twinning Joint Programs Faculty and Student Exchange Programs Plus: Program & Faculty Development, Program Accreditation, Upgrading Research Capabilities, 22

23 Ways of Mutual Cooperation SAUDI ARABIA S RESEARCH INTERESTS: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), in partnership with the major stakeholders (universities, government bodies as well as the private sector) in Saudi Arabia, has developed strategic plans for research and technology development identified by the national science, technology and innovation plan. Fields of interest are: Mathematics Water Oil & Gas Petrochemicals Nanotechnologies Biotechnology Information Technology Physics Electronics, communications, photonics Space and Aeronautics Technology Energy Advanced materials Environment It is within these areas of interest that opportunities exist for Canada s research centres (NRC, CIHR, etc.) and research-intensive universities to participate. Universities and research centres in other countries (including the US and China) are pursuing many well-funded, research-related projects in the Kingdom in these fields. 23

24 Ways of Mutual Cooperation The 3 rd Annual International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE): The IECHE 2012, to be held in Riyadh on April 17 th to 20 th, 2012, will offer an excellent opportunity to Canada s leading universities, colleges, research centres and educational organizations to showcase their strengths and interests to the stakeholders of higher education in the Middle East. The IECHE provides a framework for discussions leading to bilateral agreements between Saudi academic and research institutions and their Canadian counterparts. Opportunities exist for a variety of partnerships and collaboration in both academics and research, student & faculty exchanges, joint programs, twinning, etc. Last year, universities from several countries signed Agreements with their Saudi counterparts. It is my hope that in 2012, Canada will lead the world in the number and quality of Agreements signed at this event. Beginning today, I invite all Canadian Universities, Colleges and Educational Organizations to begin the process of selecting potential Saudi partners with a view to negotiating draft Agreements in advance of the event. The Cultural Bureau is ready, willing and eager to facilitate your discussions with your Saudi counterparts. 24

25 Conclusion The government of Saudi Arabia has invested more than US$40 billion dollars into its education sector; A substantial portion of this investment has been directed to the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, whereby highly qualified Saudi student are funded to continue their higher education in leading universities around the world; For more than 30 years, Canada has been Saudi Arabia s major partner in medical education, having trained more than 4,000 Saudi physicians over the years, many of whom have now assumed senior leadership roles in Saudi Arabia s health care system; Combined with the advent of the scholarship program and the influx of more than 13,500 nonmedical academic students into Canada, education has now become an essential element of the strategic relationships between Canada and Saudi Arabia; It is a testament to the strength of our relationship, and to the excellence of Canada s Universities, that despite having relatively fewer Universities than many of the other countries receiving our students, Canada ranks third in the world with more than 11% of all scholarship students; 25

26 Closing Comments My dear friends and colleagues, Since my appointment as the Saudi Arabian Cultural Attaché in June of 2008, I have learned that Canada is truly blessed with many of the world s finest Universities, as well as untold numbers of outstanding teachers, researchers and university officials, with whom I have had the honour of becoming a friend and colleague. Seeing you all here today, I am very hopeful that these friendships will continue, and new ones will arise and flourish, for many more years to come. THANK YOU! 26

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