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In 2005, the late King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud responded to concerns for the sustainable development of human resources in Saudi Arabia by launching the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP). Supported by the Saudi Government and implemented by the Ministry of Education (MOE), KASP would become an important source of support for the Kingdom's public and private sectors by developing, qualifying, and preparing human resources. The program would achieve its objectives by sponsoring academically distinguished Saudi citizens to study in the world's best universities, in degree specializations that were selected in accordance with the needs of the Saudi labour market. Upon completion, graduates would be expected to return to the Kingdom and contribute to the country's development.
A pilot KASP mission consisted of sending a group pf 9,252 young Saudi men and women to study in the United States of America. It proved to be a great success. Within a few years, the scope of KASP was broadened to include a greater number of specializations and countries around the world. What began as a five-year program with a few thousand students in the United States was soon providing tens of thousands with the unprecedented opportunity to pursue language training, Bachelor, Master, PhD programs and medical fellowships abroad, in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
As KASP graduates of international universities returned to the Kingdom with high academic and professional standards, the success of the program was evident. The program met its original goal of supplying qualified human resources to the Saudi labour market.To date, more than 200,000 Saudi Arabian citizens have been conferred degrees in over 30 countries. In 2015, the Saudi Arabian Government announced that it had allocated SR210 billion, a fourth of its overall budget and an increase from 2014, for the KASP's 10th cycle of students. This is a promising sign for the future of the scholarship program.
To prepare and qualify Saudi Arabian human resources in an effective manner to compete on an international level in the labor market and in scientific research.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
Applications are assessed using the following academic selection criteria. Bachelor’s students must have a secondary school grade above 90%, General Aptitude Test above 80%, Achievement Test above 80%, and Associate Degrees (2 year post-secondary diplomas) must have a minimum GPA of 4.5/5.00. Graduate level applicants must have achieved the aforementioned criteria, and Master’s students must additionally hold a Bachelor’s Degree with an overall GPA no less than 3.75/5.00 or equivalent, while PhD students must hold a Master’s Degree with an overall GPA no less than ‘Very Good’ or equivalent. The committee must also conduct interviews with candidates prior to nomination.
Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year
Cost/funding for participants:
Scholarship students are financially supported in the following ways:
- Coverage of fees for language training at study destination; the scholarship supports students to become completely fluent in the language of the host country
- Coverage of tuition for academic programs paid directly to the educational institution
- A monthly stipend for living expenses
- 100% health insurance for students and dependents
- Coverage of costs for attending conferences, symposia and other workshops as well as expenses for field trips needed for experiments or data collection
- Bench Fees* to help cover the costs of consumable materials used for research (up to $5,000 for Master’s and up to $10,000 for PhD)
- Merit awards for academic achievements
- Annual travel to and from Saudi Arabia