Since its inception, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) had graduated a number of pioneering leaders who have had a significant impact on national development with high levels of quality and excellence. Moreover, the University made great contributions to national research, studies and community service. The University achievements are a result of the great support it received from our wise government, in addition to a number of factors adopted by the university.
It is worth mentioning that the interest in teaching female students is not a new trend at the university. KFUPM studied this subject in 2011 and the Rector assigned a special committee of university leaders who suggested a further study to ensure the job opportunities of female graduates and to ensure the achievement of the desired goals that meet the quality standards to which the university is committed. In view of the current need for female leadership in diverse sectors and the availability of suitable jobs for them, the Rector had assigned, last year, a higher committee to study the university’s current state and to assess its readiness to participate in female education. The committee prepared a proposal for the start of the graduate programs for females at the university.
KFUPM implements all its initiatives and programs through a clear, deliberate and objective plan, and based on the recommendations of the assigned committees, the KFUPM Council at its sixth session of the academic year 1438-1439, held on Tuesday, 7th of Ramadan 1439, approved female study in MS degrees programs in Mathematics, Computer Engineering, Computer Sciences, Statistics, Business Administration and Engineering Management. It also approved Ph.D. programs in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. The study start date shall be at the beginning of the academic year 1440/1441 H corresponding to 2019/2020.
H.E. Dr. Khalid Bin Saleh Al-Sultan, KFUPM Rector, said that the University is interested in serving the needs of the Saudi Vision 2030, where women empowerment is an important goal. Female leaders will contribute to scientific research and strengthening the system of innovation and technology development for KFUPM and Kingdom. His Excellency pointed out that this decision would support the university's orientation towards being a research entity, which requires specialized competencies in scientific research and innovation. In addition, this initiative will fulfill the needs of educational and research institutes in the Kingdom with a distinguished female teaching body and researchers.
KFUPM’s administration hopes that this decision will achieve the desired goals and meet the aspirations of our wise government under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. Moreover, the generous care and support for KFUPM, from His Highness Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province and His Deputy Prince Ahmad bin Fahd bin Salman, further strengthens its role and initiatives. The University also thanks H.E. Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa, Minister of Education for his continuous support to the University. KFUPM will continue to provide its initiatives and enhance its community role and contributions to community service.
It is worth mentioning that the university has played a distinctive and qualitative role in various missions serving Saudi women for several years. For example, the University has contributed through the Academic Leadership Center to the training of more than four thousand academic leaders in Saudi universities. The university has also trained and educated female students and teachers to improve teaching science to young people, and enhancing their knowledge of its importance through the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Center for Science and Technology (SciTech). It also established a science office to train female teachers on pedagogy and methodology in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Further, KFUPM’s Deanship of Continuing Education trained thousands of female students and taught them English basic skills through short and long courses.
The R&D centers at Dhahran Techno Valley have contributed to the recruitment of female researchers. KFUPM supported the Saudi female researchers by its “Ibn Khaldun” program, which comes as part of the research cooperation between KFUPM and MIT in the USA. The university has also developed a program to train women leaders of non-profit organizations at the Al-FOZAN Academy.