Saudi Gazette reportRIYADH — The Ministry of Education is currently working on a plan to attract prestigious foreign universities to open their branches in the Kingdom. This is in accordance with the directives aimed at taking advantage of the courses of the premier international universities by young Saudi men and women.This comes within the framework of the government’s keenness to provide advanced and world class education, keeping pace with the renaissance witnessed by the Kingdom in various fields, in a way that fulfills aspirations of people and keeps pace with the employment market reforms.There are provisions in the new University Law to allow the University Affairs Council to recommend approval of the establishment or abolition or merger of universities and their branches, private colleges and branches of foreign universities, and submit the recommendations to the Council of Ministers for approval.Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman had approved the formation of University Affairs Council in February last year following the issuance of the new University Law by the Cabinet in November 2019.The most important tasks of the University Affairs Council include approval of policies and strategies for university education; approving and supervising regulations for universities, private colleges, and branches of foreign universities; approving financial, administrative, and academic regulations for universities.The tasks also include approval of the university’s self-investment and revenue regulations; approving the regulations governing the acceptance of donations, gifts, bequests, and the mechanism for spending thereof; approval of the regulations governing the management of endowments in universities in coordination with the General Authority of Awqaf.Additional tasks of the Council include approving the regulations governing science societies, research chairs, and research, innovation and entrepreneurship centers in universities; approval of the regulations for establishing science museums in universities in coordination with the relevant authorities; approval of the regulations governing student funds in universities; governance and evaluation of universities’ academic, administrative and financial performance.The Council tasks included approving the rules for nominating university presidents; recommending approval for the establishment, abolition and merger of universities and their branches, private colleges and branches of foreign universities; approving the establishment of colleges, deanships, institutes, centers and scientific departments, or merging them, abolishing them, or changing their names.

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