RIYADH, 17 May 2007 — Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, who was named as the new governor of Makkah by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah yesterday, announced the research and academic programs of the newly established world-class Alfaisal University last night.

The curriculum of the university, which its founders hope will meet the highest international academic standards, has been designed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Addressing a large audience at the King Faisal Foundation Auditorium, Prince Khaled said, “Alfaisal University will be a renowned academic and research-oriented institution, the first of its kind in the Arab world, with its operational base in the Saudi capital city.” The university, he said, would be located at the palace of the late King Faisal in the Mather district of Riyadh. Prince Khaled is the chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees.

The event was attended by several members of the royal family including Prince Bander ibn Saud K. Al-Saud, president of the university board of trustees. Top university officials, a large number of academics and media persons were present.

In his opening speech, Prince Khaled said: “Alfaisal University will have four colleges, namely the College of Administration and Technology, the College of Sciences, the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine.”

The university will provide advanced research facilities. “Alfaisal University will be a modern example of an international-class Arab university,” he said.

The university will boast of affiliations with renowned universities and academic institutions across the world. The tie-ups will help the university learn from diverse experiences and improve its educational standards on par with the best institutions of the world.

Prince Khaled said that the applied course materials would enable the university to render great contributions to the Kingdom’s private sector and eventually help the Saudi nation prosper and grow. He explained that the university has laid down a procedure with specific conditions for the admission of students. “All students seeking admission at Alfaisal University will be required to undergo a preparatory session,” said Prince Khaled.

All students to be enrolled at the university will also be required to pass an English langauge test. The medium of instruction in all of the university’s faculties will be English, whereas Islamic studies will be taught in Arabic.

Referring to the objectives behind setting up the institution, Prince Khaled said, “Alfaisal University is a non-profit private educational institution.”

The university seeks to impart quality education to Saudi and non-Saudi students, while offering tailor-made training and research programs.

“The university has already embarked on a major program to cooperate with a number of foreign institutions in its fields of specializations,” said Dr. Allen Goddridge, the university’s chief academic officer. He also spoke about the course materials to be taught at the university.

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