By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has directed that male and female students studying at their own expense in the United States may join the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Foreign Scholarships.
The announcement was made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif during his meeting with Saudi students in New York on Monday.
The crown prince is currently leading the Saudi delegation to the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The king has granted this facility in order to take care of citizens who are fulfilling their educational needs .
During the meeting at the crown prince’s residence, both Saudi male and female students from five major American universities were present.
The prince said that the offer was valid for those who follow approved courses in recognized universities.
Addressing the students, the crown prince said: “I am very happy with your performance. Those of you who are studying in these universities are assets to our nation and I pray that you will be able to shoulder responsibilities in your workplaces.”
For their part, the students expressed their thanks to King Salman and the crown prince for their continuous support and care which has helped them in their studies.
Among others, the reception was attended by Saudi Ambassador to US Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki, Minister of State and Cabinet member Musaed Al-Aiban, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi and Cultural Attache at the Saudi Embassy Mohammed Abdullah Al-Essa.
There are 125,000 Saudi students in the US, including those on scholarship and those studying at their own expense.
Saudis have been studying in the United States for decades, overseen by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission which was established in the US 60 years ago. This was part of the government’s plan, now under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, to ensure Saudis acquired skills to help the economy on their return home, a recent report stated.
King Salman demonstrated his concern for the education of citizens when he visited the United States in 2015 when he met with a group of students studying in the country.
This commitment has extended to 2016, with the announcement of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP), spearheaded by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.