JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s Education and Scientific Research Committee has recommended an increase in the salaries of expatriates who teach at Saudi universities in order to attract qualified foreign staff and improve universities’ academic standards.
The committee will present its proposal to the Shoura Council on Monday, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported on Thursday.
There has been difficulty in recruiting non-Saudi staff that are specialized in the sciences and applied sciences, especially health, engineering and computer science.
“We have already presented the proposal to the higher education ministry’s representatives,” the statement said.
“The ministry has realized the importance of changing the regulations relating to the employment of foreign staff at universities.
“The committee is of the opinion that the salaries and benefits of non-Saudi teaching staff and others in the same category should be increased considering the new global economic changes and competition between educational institutions in recruiting qualified staff.” The committee hoped that their proposal would receive the Shoura’s backing.
King Saud University in Riyadh has recruited Nobel laureates to support its research programs while Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah recently announced its intent to recruit King Faisal Award winners as its faculty members.
The Shoura panel commended Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s support for higher education and his initiative in establishing the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, 80 km north of Jeddah.
The committee expressed its hope that KAUST, an international postgraduate research university, would play a significant role in boosting higher education and scientific research in the Kingdom.
It also noted a 72 percent budget increase for higher education from SR14.29 billion in 2008 to SR25.22 billion in 2009. The committee praised the ministry for placing 92 percent of secondary school graduates in public universities during the 2009-10 academic year, claiming it was the highest rate in the world.
It also called upon the Ministries of Higher Education and Finance to give priority to the establishment of university hospitals at new universities in various parts of the Kingdom.
It urged the two ministries to solve the problems of Saudi students who wish to pursue higher education abroad on scholarships, especially the difficulties they have in caring for their children.http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article19275.ece