Saudi Arabia: What Exactly is the Ministry of Higher Education?

     The Ministry of Higher Education under the direction of Khalid ibn Mohammad Al-Anqari, is an impressive Ministry with a wide reach of duties and responsibilities.  HE Khalid Al-Anqari and my late husband worked together for several years when they were both assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC.  I personally can not say enough positive about HE Khalid Al-Anqari on his sincerity and compassion for any position or activity which he undertakes.  I think he is an ideal official to represent the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) as its Minister.

The Minister of Education is directly responsible for the following:

  • The Minister of Higher Education presides over the council of each university. He is responsible for monitoring the execution of the educational policy of the country in the field of university education. Also, he monitors the application of the system of the Higher Education and Universities Council and its lists existed. He is responsible for all universities and each university subjects to his supervision
  • He refers the issues that should be referred to the University Council to study them
  • He can ask inserting any issue in the University Council agenda or he can postpone it before the meeting of the Council
  • He suggests recruiting the managers of the Universities or releasing them from their positions
  • Receiving the annual report of each University its Manager presents concerning its affairs, activities and he raises it to the Higher Education Council
  • Giving consent or disagreement concerning nominations presented to him by the University Manager or releasing the Universities Deputies in order to decide it from the Higher Education Council
  • He gives his consent to the recruitment of the Colleges and Institutes Deans and Supporting Deans from the Saudi Teaching Staff according to the nomination of the Universities Managers
  • Assigning the concerned officers in the Ministry or Universities to conduct some studies related to the Higher Education affairs in general or some issues that are related to one sector of its sectors or one university
  • He assigns three experienced officers as members in the University Council for three years
  • Coordination with the Universities and the Concerned Bodies in preparing the executive lists to the system of Higher Education and Universities Council
  • Supervising execution of the Arabian Magazine and King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives , according to the mentioned tasks and specializations in its regulations.

In addition, there are multiple Deputies and other officials who oversee the following responsibilities also within the MoHE:   

  • Deputy for Planning and Information Affairs.
  • Ministry Department for Educational Affairs.
  • Ministry Department for Scholarship Affairs.
  • General Department for Administrative and Financial Affairs.
  • General Department for Media and Public Relations.
  • Secretariat of the Higher Education Council.
  • General Department of International Cooperation.
  • General Department for Cultural Missions.
  • Higher Education Research Center.

   The MoHE is also the entity in the Kingdom to which Saudi students apply for scholarships whether inside or outside of the Kingdom.  This also includes the popular King Abdullah Scholarship Program which provides the means for qualifying Saudi students to obtain a bachelor, master, doctorate or medical fellowship at the world’s premier institutions.  The MoHE web site clearly identifies all required qualifications under which a Saudi citizen may apply for the scholarship.

The MoHE has strived to create an excellent website which fully explains its mission and has links to the various departments in addition to resources.  This is the web site Saudi nationals should access when interested in the pursuit of higher education.  There are additional services through the website for Saudi nationals in the Arabic language and accessible using their Saudi ID number.

The MoHE also has a full page dedicated to how to contact key departments either by phone, fax or email and has included how to dial into the Kingdom from abroad.

Next time an American Bedu reader meets a Saudi scholarship student who is studying abroad, by perusing the MoHE website, you’ll have a better understanding of the requirements and procedure the student met in order to qualify for his or her scholarship.


4 Responses

  1. The long list of duties bestowed on him by the royals is the reason the Saudi educational system is among the most backward in the world. He is more of an appeaser than educator.

    His loyalty is not to the students or the country, but to his bosses. He should have been replaced by a modern technocrat who was born into and grew up with technological advancement.

    Google Shanghai University comparative statistics and see where do Saudi universities rank scientifically? Mind you, the Saudi monarchy and the Communist Party have a lot in common and share the same animosity toward democracy and human rights.

  2. @Ali Alyami,

    I looked at the top 100 ranking universities in the world and results were as followed:

    United State = 31, UK = 19, Australia = 7, Germany & Japan = 5, Canada & Netherland = 4, Hong Kong & Switzerland = 3, France, China, Denmark, South Korea, Singapore and Sweden = 2 – then New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Finland, Taiwan, Ireland and Belgium all have only one qualified top 100 university in the world.

    However, in terms of % of the country’s total population this rank will change to:

    Hong Kong 1
    Australia 2
    United Kingdom 3
    Netherlands 4
    New Zealand 5
    Norway 6
    Sweden 7
    Canada 8
    United States 9
    Belgium 10

    Even achieving status within the top 400 university in the world is extremely difficult

  3. Hi Sheerazi,

    Just out of curiousity, I googled the top 50 best hospitals in the world. As expected, an overwhelming majority of the hospitals are in the US. There is only one saudi hospital ( #28) and just one more from the arab/muslim world.

    Nice to see ya back Sheerazi! You should grace this forum more often …

  4. @Honest Abe,

    Interesting site, according to this, Hospital Distribution by Region for the entire Arab World = 6 shocking result in compare to say Europe = 382

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