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Spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Scholarship Program

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College Scholarships for Muslim Students. Happy Black Islamic Woman With Workbooks Outdoors

Established in 2005, the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) is a scholarship program for Saudi Arabians to study abroad at the undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral level. Since 2005, the program has cost the US $5 billion, which makes it one of the most well-funded scholarships in the world. The scholarship pays for three years of study, English language training, and health insurance.

The program has a hand in securing Saudi Arabia‘s economic future and its global competitiveness. According to Claude Scaldi, the Assistant Director of ESL at the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, “The scheme has been established and tailored to suit Saudi society’s needs in labor, employment, and infrastructure.” The scholarship was also public relations move following 9/11. Following 9/11, the drop in Saudi enrollment in US schools cost Saudi Arabia about $40 million.

The scholarship funds 90% of all Saudis who are studying abroad. In the 2010-2011 academic year, there were approximately 130,000 students funded across 22 countries. Originally, the program was intended to be short – only a couple of years – but it was extended in both 2007 and 2009. At this point, the program is expected to continue until 2020.

Creative Commons Love: Thompson Rivers at Flickr.com

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