An organized open meeting of top officials of Higher institutions titled 'Saudi Universities Admission (mechanism, methods, developments)' was concluded recently. The meeting highlighted a number of important topics in admission processes.
Statistical data show the number of students in Saudi universities to be 1,499,120, in the 39 public and private universities. Also, the data shows that one hundred and fifty - two thousand (152,000) of the students are beneficiaries of King Abdullah Scholarship Program.
This meeting focused on the labor market and the way of creating harmony between the higher education units that are responsible for the provision of specialized work force with the relevant needs of the labor market. The meeting therefore sought for a complementary working relationship between Ministry of Higher Education and Vocational and Technical Education regarding market specializations and needs.
The gathering also discussed the topic of universities challenging issues especially that of finding ways of keeping institutions' former students out of idleness because of academic failure, as well as helping them to raise their G.P. so as not to be idle for more than the first year.
Another issue discussed in the meeting was the differences in admission transparency that exists between private universities and institutes on one hand, and governmental universities, on the other.
The participants at the meeting stated that there are a number of universities that don't have right to admit any student because admission system has become mechanical through universities' websites intended to avoid any manipulation.
King Khalid University (KKU) president, Dr. Abdurrahman Al Dawood, asserted that that kind of meeting reflected the concern of the officials of higher education institutions on the need for perfect transparency in all cases of admission. That, there is the necessity for cooperation between the media and administrators of higher education institutions, the provision of which will create a fundamental partnership in general development of the society. He also confirmed the participation of the media today with the Ministry of Higher Education, showing how important that is, specially in the case of university admissions, as the media's contribution in enlightenment can be a useful facilitation.
He said, "As it was last year , I expect it will happen this year. Even though we have closed the admission processes for this year, there are a large number of vacant seats. The university accommodated all high school students that graduated in Asir region", explaining further that "and this university with its branches in 14 provinces has accommodated more than 72 thousand students. We have more than 8 thousand faculty employees. In the past few years, higher education has spread in every region and province. This has facilitated admission for students".
One of universities challenges is that of those candidates who aspire to specialize in specialties of their aspirations, but who lack the minimal standard requirement - academically or financially - to gain admission. Pointing out that standard entry requirement can not be compromised, thus, standard must be maintained in all specialties.
He continued: "we are looking for possible assistance of Custodian of two holy mosques' Scholarship Program, as well the graduate scholarship program to take care of the financial aspects. Thankfully scholarship program has started working to identify possible beneficiaries among Saudi sons and daughters who are qualified to join this university".
About the expected number of admission into KKU and in its branches in 14 provinces, he said that, "I expect the number of the admitted students will reach 30 thousand".