Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz will lay tomorrow the foundation stone for the SR10 billion King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, 80 km north of Jeddah. “The new university would serve as a lighthouse of knowledge for the entire mankind,” said the king. Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency on the occasion of the launching, King Abdullah emphasized the significance of the new world-class university, saying it would boost the Kingdom’s economic, social and cultural development.
The Western-style university is set to revolutionize higher education in the Kingdom. “It will support national industries and the private sector and help set up new knowledge-based industries,” King Abdullah said adding the university will also help in converting innovative ideas and inventions into economic projects, benefiting the country and citizens. “It will also serve as a cultural channel benefiting the whole humanity in order for them to learn the values of knowledge and tolerance,” he said. KAUST is being developed as an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom.
KAUST is the realization of the decades-long vision of King Abdullah, who wants to improve Saudi Arabia’s education standard to reach world-class levels. “The establishment of a university for science and technology and scientific research having international standard has been an idea vibrant in my mind for more than 25 years and I thank God for helping us to realize it,” the king said. King Abdullah said KAUST would help Saudi Arabia to have a world-class independent scientific research center, adding that it would act as a scientific base as well as a driving force for the national economy.
“We hope KAUST will become a pioneering project for the future of our country and one of the distinguished research centers in the world for scientific research and innovation, taking care of talented persons in the Kingdom, in the region and other parts of the world,” he said, adding that admission to the university would be based on merit and there would not be any favoritism.
…Abdullah said he hoped the university would help people in different parts of the world establish closer relations. He stressed the role of knowledge in boosting economic and industrial progress. “We have seen countries that spend more on education achieve greater progress and prosperity.” The king also announced that KAUST would have research centers for all sciences including Islamic studies. “Compared to others, Muslim countries are far behind in the field of scientific research and we hope KAUST will improve scientific research and create solutions for the challenges facing the Kingdom and the region and create a conducive atmosphere for innovators and the talented in technological areas of strategic importance.”