RIYADH: Noting that there are more than 11,600 Saudi students studying in Canada, Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak on Wednesday said there is huge potential for bilateral cooperation in the education sector. The Kingdom is “the sixth-largest source country for international students in Canada,” he said.
“Canada is internationally recognized for a competency-based teaching approach that prepares students to be productive in the workplace immediately after graduation,” he added.
Horak urged Saudi students to choose from Canada’s top-ranked technical training colleges and universities for the highest-quality education, and return home with a globally recognized degree or diploma.
He noted that 17 Canadian educational institutions are participating in the ongoing International Conference and Exhibition on Higher Education in Riyadh, comprising “13 top universities… two major colleges and two language schools.”
Horak said Canada is a world leader in post-secondary research, outpacing most G7 countries in overall investment in education. “Canadian institutions are innovation leaders in numerous fields, including health, nanotechnology, biotechnology, high-performance computing, environmental technologies, nutraceuticals and renewable fuels,” he added.
He said the Saudi Education Ministry has an ongoing agreement with Mitacs, a national non-profit research organization that offers funding for internships and fellowships at Canadian universities for international undergraduate and graduate students. In the summer of 2014, the first cohort of Saudi students was welcomed by Mitacs as part of the Globalink Research Internship (GRI) program.
“On top of that, we are proud to have Niagara College operate four offshore campuses in Saudi Arabia under the Colleges of Excellence program,” said Horak, adding that there are two male-only campuses in Taif and Makkah, and two female-only campuses in Ahsa and Majmaah.
Programs offered include a foundation year for English-language learning and computing, business and management studies, and hospitality and tourism studies, among others.
Horak said scholarships are generally based on academic merit and are often awarded at the time of admission. There are various scholarships for international students and researchers.
He said eligible full-time international students can gain valuable work experience to help finance their stay in Canada, adding that tuition costs offer excellent value compared to other countries.

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