Liberian Embassy In Riyadh Looking To Explore Learning Opportunities

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Riyadh, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia – His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Brahima D. Kaba, of the Liberian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is visiting major Saudi Universities for scholarships for Liberian students.

It is widely estimated that the main destination of most Liberian students is the USA (probably 75%) and Europe (20%). The rest is divided between Africa, the Middle East and Asia, especially China.

Of the students who come to the Middle East, the majority seems to be studying in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait.

With both the increased globalization and the significant growth in the number of good and affordable educational facilities in the rich Gulf countries, there is a renewed interest of Liberians and other Africans to explore higher educational opportunities in this part of the world.

There are already a few thousand African students in Saudi Arabia and these include a few dozen Liberians. Of these Liberian students in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Gulf countries, the great majority is engaged in Arabic Language and Religious studies.

The Liberian Embassy in Riyadh wishes to bring some change to this situation in line with the vision of H.E. President George M. Weah to bring meaningful education relevant to the country’s needs.

Based upon these premises, the current Chief of mission in Riyadh, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Brahima D. Kaba, through a request to the Saudi Foreign Ministry, has recently embarked on a series of visits to some of the major Universities of Saudi Arabia with the view of encouraging and pleading with them to provide scholarships and accept more Liberian students not only in the traditional areas of linguistic and religious studies, but to accept a greater number of our students in the scientific, public health, pharmaceutical, engineering, business administration as well as all relevant scientific and vocational fields of studies.

As a result, the following main Saudi Universities extended an invitation to Ambassador Kaba to visit their campuses and hold discussions with the authorities of these institutions of learning:

1. King Saud University in Riyadh:

The meeting with H.E. the Chancellor of the University took place on April 2018 at his office on the main campus of the University. King Fahad University, established in 1956, is the oldest Saudi University and has a current enrollment of 150,000 students. There are presently 2 Liberian students attending the university in the field of Linguistic and Islamic studies.

It has 20 colleges including engineering, IT, Medicine, Pharmacy, Computer Science, etc.

During the meeting, H.E. the Chancellor expressed the readiness of the University to accept scholarship applicants from Liberia to enroll in all areas of studies with the exception of Medicine where there is limitation for foreign admission.

2. Al-Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh,

The Imam University is the largest Saudi University with over 250,000 students both in Saudi Arabia and around the world. A few Liberians have graduated from the Imam University.

During the meeting with the university Chancellor, the Liberian Envoy was informed that the University is ready to welcome applications from Liberian students for various areas of studies to include Engineering, Economics, Business Administration, etc.

Additionally, it was proposed that a committee be set up between the Embassy and the University authorities to evaluate the possibility of collaboration between the Imam University, the University of Liberia and various education institutions in the country through relevant diplomatic channels.

3. Umm Al Qura University, Makkah,

On Thursday April 26, 2018, H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Omar Bafeel, the Rector of Uml Qura University received Ambassador Kaba accompanied by the Honorable the Liberian Honorary Consul in Riyadh, Mr. Ayman Al-Hilali in the presence of the senior staff of the University including Dr. Abdul Majeed Al-Ghamdi, Dean of the Faculty of Da’wa, Dr. Faisal Ghazawi of the Faculty of Arabic language.

Dr. Bafeel welcomed and informed the delegation that a few Liberians have attended the University. He expressed the desire of the University to continue to provide educational opportunities to Liberian students whenever necessary. He indicated that the current enrollment of the University is 150,000 students, including female students.

In his response, Ambassador Kaba expressed thanks and appreciation for the warm welcome extended to him and his delegation.  He stressed the keenness of the Government and the Liberian President to strengthen the ties between Liberia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all educational aspects given the fact that education is one of the main priorities of the current Government.

He furthered that the desire of the Liberian Government is to increase the number of scholarships and to expand the areas of studies to include areas such as Nursing, IT, Computer Science and Engineering, etc.

At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the two parties will meet to work on a proposal for educational cooperation between Liberian Universities and Uml Qura University to be submitted to their respective authorities through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

4. Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University, Riyadh:

Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University is located in Riyadh and is the largest all-female Islamic university in the world with a total enrollment of 55,000 students. There is currently one Liberian female student attending that University in the department of Linguistic.

The Director of studies, on behalf of H.E. the Chancellor, welcomed the Liberian Embassy delegation comprising of Ambassador Kaba and First Secretary Mr. Morieba Sanoe and informed them that the University will be pleased to extend scholarships to more Liberian female students while diversifying the areas of study concentration.

The CEO for International Collaboration Affairs, Dr. Faiz Ali Al Shihiri, indicated that the University would welcome, upon request, the establishment of strategic partnerships between their university and the University of Liberia in various educational areas, especially in the areas of exchange of students and faculty.

In his response, Ambassador extended thanks to the University authorities for their kind reception and suggested a possible visit by the President of the University of Liberia who is a woman, to her counterpart the Chancellor of Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University through appropriate official channels.

5. King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals in Damam,

H.E. Dr. Khaled S. Alsultan, the Rector and the senior staff of the University welcomed Ambassador Kaba and First Secretary Mr. Morieba Sanoe in his office where discussions on a number of issues of common interest took place.

King Fahad Petroleum University is located in Dammam (Eastern Region) adjacent to the massive Aram co Oil Company complex on the Gulf Sea. It was established in the mid-50s and currently ranks among the best Petroleum Engineering Universities in the world.

In his remark, Chancellor Alsultan said that he and his staff are very pleased and grateful to receive Ambassador Kaba and his delegation in his office, adding that this is the first time to receive a high-ranking Liberian diplomat at his university. He also informed that he had been advised by his Government to take a keen interest of the Ambassador’s request regarding educational matters. He further informed the delegation that the University has many African students mainly from Nigeria, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt Senegal, Angola, etc. There is no Liberian student at the university.

The Rector expressed his willingness to offer scholarships to all Liberian graduate students in good academic standing through the appropriate official channels of communication between the two governments.

The five main colleges of the university are Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Management, Petroleum Engineering and, Geology.

In his response, Ambassador Kaba expressed gratitude to the Chancellor and his staff on behalf of the President, the Government and the people of Liberia for the honor extended to him and his delegation.

He added that with his academic background, he will make sure that the most qualified students are selected for the various scholarship programs to be eventually offered by the University. He also suggested that the two countries agree on a Memorandum of Understanding for student and faculty exchange programs between our institutions of higher learning, especially between the University of Liberia, Cuttington University, the Tubman University and the King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals.

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