WENR, December 2013: Middle East
Tel Aviv U Signs Cooperation Agreement with China’s Tsinghua U
As a first step towards establishing a joint research center, Tel Aviv University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing’s Tsinghua University reports the Jerusalem Post.
The new research center is to serve as an international hub for “strategic cooperation in innovative research and education for the mutual benefit of both nations.”
The XIN center will aim to “advance interdisciplinary research, provide optimal conditions for creativity, and promote activity in fields that can truly impact society in both countries and the entire world,” and will include input from academia and industry representatives. It will be at Tsinghua University, but research will also be conducted at Tel Aviv University.
The universities said they would recruit “the best minds” in Israel, China and the rest of the world to work at the center, which will initially focus on fields that enjoy accelerated development in both Israel and in China, such as nanotechnology, but in time will expand to other fields of science. Investors in the fund will include the Beijing government and alumni of Tsinghua University.
– Jerusalem Post
September 15, 2013
International Scholarship Program Extended Through 2019
The King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP), which has provided free overseas education for tens of thousands of Saudi students since 2005, has received approval for an extension past 2014 for an additional five years. According to government statistics, there are nearly 100,000 Saudi students currently studying at some of the world’s best universities across the world under KASP.
– Arab News
November 16, 2013
Restrictions Placed on Saudi Students Enrolling in Online Courses Overseas
The Saudi government is taking a tougher line on whether students in the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) can enroll in online or hybrid courses, but American colleges have been left confused about how the rules are being interpreted reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Currently there are 44,570 Saudis studying in the United States, according to the latest figures from the Institute of International Education, making Saudi Arabia the fourth-largest source of foreign students and one of the fastest-growing. Almost all Saudi students are in the United States through KASP, which pays the full cost of a graduate or undergraduate degree as well as for English-language study, if needed.
The scholarship program, which also decides what academic subjects and at what foreign institutions students may study, has long limited the number of courses students may take online. But the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education and the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, which administers the program in the United States, have signaled they are getting stricter about enforcement.
In November, the cultural mission, which is known as SACM, sent a letter to all scholarship recipients, reminding them that they need preapproval before enrolling in any online course. Otherwise, the students will have to pay for the course themselves, SACM warned.
– Chronicle of Higher Education
November 21, 2013
Saudi Branch Campuses of Yemeni Universities Ordered to Close
Yemen’s higher education minister has ordered the closure of all Yemeni university branches in Saudi Arabia. Students enrolled in distance learning programs at the universities will now be unable to obtain their bachelor degrees.
The move is a result of the violation of Saudi laws that stipulate that universities be in possession of a valid license in order to open offices to provide distance learning programs. Such branches were catering to expat students living in Jeddah and Riyadh. Some universities even opened branches in the consulate general of Yemen, which have since been shut down.
Many students complained about the poor quality of the distance learning programs provided by Yemeni universities. They also complained about delays in receiving certificates. At least 1,500 students studying through the University of Sanaa’s satellite campuses in Jeddah and Riyadh were left in the lurch after an agent responsible for collecting student fees allegedly absconded with more than SR40 million ($10.7 million), according to university court documents obtained by Arab News.
– Arab News
November 23, 2013