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Saudi issues new regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate studies

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Led by Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh, the Council of Universities Affairs has issued two new regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate study and examinations to be implemented starting the 2022-2023 academic year.

In an effort to increase the global ranking of Saudi universities, these regulations will increase the efficiency of their operations and improve the quality of education output in accordance with labor market demands. In the process, this will boost the recruitment of talented and innovative students and foster distinction and competition among universities.

Broad powers are granted to universities in academic procedures based on governance and a flexible institutional framework. Universities will be able to create harmony and achieve integration in terms of specializations and responsibilities and diversify representation in university councils.

Under the new regulation for study and examinations, universities have the power to change the time schedule for the semester, level or year at the undergraduate level. These new regulations provide a different assessment system that is compatible with the regulations followed by world-leading universities.

The recent changes also accelerate the educational journey for students at the undergraduate level. Now universities can promote a flexible education system for students, allowing them to earn degrees other than a bachelor’s degree. For instance, those who did not complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree can be awarded a diploma in the specialization they are currently pursuing. The same flexibility is granted in postgraduate programs with universities allowing students to earn a lower academic degree than the program in which they are enrolled.

The new regulation for postgraduate studies permits the development of joint programs between universities inside or outside the Kingdom. Also, students enrolled at a non-Saudi university will have the opportunity to enroll in courses at a Saudi university. They may earn a degree or certificate approved by two educational institutions with a joint program in between. Students are permitted to enroll in two programs at the same time or from a previous stage.

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