Rethinking the HE Study Abroad Scholarship Programs in Saudi Arabia: Aligning Skills and Capabilities with Labour Market Priorities (72835)

Session Information: Higher Education
Session Chair: Abigail Jo Abainza

Saturday, 25 November 2023 11:55
Session: Session 2
Room: Room E (Live Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Saudi Arabia has by far the oldest tradition, among GCC countries, of fully government-sponsored scholarships for study at foreign universities dating back to the very early years of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the 1920s.
In recent years, in order to enhance the nation’s overall competitiveness, scholarship programs are no longer the concern only of the Ministry of (Higher) Education.
In what appears to be a major government shift, Saudi Arabia is introducing new internal and external scholarship programs sponsored by different actors, all dedicated to the goal of providing the best opportunities for Saudi citizens to acquire hard and soft skills, improve their employability, and help the country to achieve economic diversification.
Besides workforce readiness, technical skills and entrepreneurship, soft skills also play a central role as essential human skills, and there is a growing emphasis on the ability to apply acquired soft skills in multicultural contexts. Accordingly, the new Saudi scholarship programs need to find the difficult balance between the acquisition of soft skills and hard skills, equally important in educating the youth to live and work in a global context and become innovators.
This study explores how Saudi Arabia is building a HE multi-option education and training model: education and training in local HE institutions, involving a range of on-campus and online degrees; scholarship programs to study abroad at leading institutions; foreign university campuses on home soil.

Annalisa Pavan, University of Padova, Italy

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00