Saudi Minister gives commitment to increasing scholarships for Malaysian students – Zambry

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 1: Saudi Arabia’s Education Minister Dr Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan has expressed his commitment to increasing the Saudi government’s scholarships for Malaysian students, said Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

The Malaysian Higher Education Minister said further discussions on this matter would be held.

He said this was among the matters discussed in bilateral meetings held during his working visit to Riyadh from Feb 27-29 to, among other things, attend the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) conference. 

“At the same time, we also agreed that all bureaucratic red tape involving the student exchange process and registration process concerning visas, verification of accreditations and the like will be resolved speedily.

“He also said Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are two friendly countries with close ties,” Zambry said in a statement issued here today.

Zambry said in his meeting with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, they touched on cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to set up suitable research centres, especially in the fields of AI, technology and energy transition.

Zambry said Prince Abdulaziz, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia, also agreed to establish collaboration on the exchange of students and skilled manpower with Malaysian universities.

Zambry also met Saudi Trade Minister Dr Majid bin Abdullah AlKassabi, Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih, and Human Resources and Social Development Minister Ahmad bin Sulaiman AlRajhi.

He said all three leaders gave their commitment to having agreements and cooperation between their ministries and the Higher Education Ministry, including on online haj management training.

“They will have meetings with several of their counterparts through the Saudi delegation to Malaysia which was formed earlier, namely the Saudi-Malaysian Coordination Council,” he said. 

Zambry also held talks with Qatar Education and Higher Education Minister Buthaina Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi and Bahrain’s Education Minister Dr Mohammed Mubarak Juma.

He said both meetings gave positive signs of Malaysia’s higher education ties with Qatar and Bahrain, with the two agreeing to send more students to Malaysia and to accept more Malaysian students in their countries.

“This includes reactivating the Qatar Foundation programme for helping students in conflict countries to study in Malaysia and scholarships for Malaysian students to Qatar.

“The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) branch campus in Doha, Qatar now in the final process of opening for operations can offer four offshore pre-graduate and post-graduate programmes,” he added.

Zambry said his visit to Riyadh had succeeded in strengthening collaboration and expanding the network between Malaysia and Middle East countries in the higher education sector.