King Abdulaziz University (KAU) bears the name of the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1967 as a private institution to address the need for higher education in the Western Region. KAU is a public multi-campus university dedicated to the service of the Western Region and its people.
KAU's strengths in the current world of higher education stem from its comprehensive subject coverage ranging from medicine to maritime studies, its IT-based approach to both learning and university management, and its international approach. In the past few years, KAU has received international accreditations for over 80 academic programs. In addition, it is now highly visible in many global university rankings.
Despite being established with an original regional mission in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia, KAU has now taken on a national and international role. It has pioneered many approaches that are now accepted in the Kingdom's academic system, and have become by far the largest and most comprehensive university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
KAU has realised the importance of scientific research as a trend in current higher education. In response, it has established strategic plans that involve becoming a first-class research university alongside its existing teaching mission, and its commitment to social service. This involves more use of international collaboration, increasing numbers of visiting scholars, and growing numbers of PhD students locally and internationally.
In pursuing these research objectives, KAU, like other Saudi universities, has recently been benchmarking itself against each other, and against international universities of similar size, scope and manpower. These often include universities that contribute to the wheel of economic development of their countries, especially in the knowledge economy.
One interesting issue arising from the Kingdom's central role in Islam is its approach to the education of women. Historically, and as a rule, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a separate-but-equal approach to educating women and men. Saudi women are more heavily involved in the development of the country than ever before. Young women are taking on active roles in various fields and sectors including education, medicine, banking, and business, to name a few. They are notable faculty members, researchers, medical doctors, entrepreneurs. Under these rules, KAU has been proud in playing a pioneering role in educating female students.
President of King Abdulaziz University, Abdulrahman Obaid AI-Youbi said, "One aim shared by several Saudi universities with KAU playing a major role is to build higher education systems of global standing, to the point where Saudi students would easily obtain the necessary academic skills with the highest international standards within Saudi Arabian universities campuses and premises. The Kingdom now has 28 public universities, eight private universities, and a good range of specialist colleges and institutes, public and private universities which are regionally and intentionally highly reputed."
President of King Abdulaziz University, Abdulrahman Obaid AI-Youbi stressed on our participation in the World Student Scholarship Education Program (WSSEP) on 22nd and 23rd October, 2017 Dubai, UAE to meet with international educators and build global partnership.