History of King Saud University
Establishing Saudi Arabia’s first university was a response to the educational and professional needs of a young nation. Abdul Aziz bin Saud, proclaimed the King in 1932, and began laying the foundations for modernizing his country and establishing an educational system. In 1953, King Saud, the eldest son of Abdulaziz, acceded to the throne upon his father's death. He would soon institute the Council of Ministers and establish the Ministry Education.
Prince Fahd, who would eventually become the Saudi King himself, assumed the office of the first Ministry of Education, and following the first session of the Council of Ministers, he announced, “We will shortly establish the first Saudi University, this is a foregone conclusion. This university will be one of the most prominent houses of culture and sciences and will be worthy of our country where the light of Islamic faith and civilization has emanated.” The Kingdom's first institute of higher education, King Saud University, was subsequently opened in Riyadh in 1957.
Prince Fahd was committed to promoting higher education, and once said, “I am interested, before anything else, in supporting higher and vocational education in this country in order to add a new and illustrious chapter to our glorious history. Establishing a Saudi university with all its colleges, institutes and laboratories, built according to the highest of standards, is my immediate concern.”
In 1957, according to the dictates of the Royal Decree No. 17, Prince Fahd announced the founding of King Saud University, established in order to, “Disseminate and promote knowledge in Our Kingdom for widening the base of scientific and literary study, and for keeping abreast with other nations in the arts and sciences and for contributing with them discovery and invention”, in addition to reviving Islamic civilization and articulate its benefits and glories, along with its ambitions to nurture the young virtuously and to guarantee their healthy minds and ethics."
Students began studying in the College of Arts in the 1957-58 academic year. Since that time, KSU has gone through many stages of developments, and its administrative organization has developed and adapted according to the diverse needs and expanding role of the nation.
Between 1958 and 1960, three colleges are established: the College of Sciences, the College of Business (now the College of Public Administration) and the College of Pharmacy.
Royal Decree no. 112 of 1961 recognized that: King Saud University is an independent legal character, with a budget of its own, responsible for higher education, promoting scholarly research, and advancement of sciences and arts in the country. Naming the Minister of Education as the President of the university, the Statute ordered that the University have a Vice President and Secretary General, and that each college and institute have a Dean, Vice Dean, and a council.
In 1965 the College of Agriculture is established; in the same year, control over the Colleges of Engineering and Education, having been under the Ministry of Education in cooperation with UNESCO, is assumed by the University.
Royal Decree no M/11 of 1967 enforced the Statute of the University of Riyadh (currently King Saud University), rescinding all earlier statutes, bylaws, and regulations. Of the main landmarks of the new Statute is the creation of the Higher Council of the University as one of its administrative powers. The membership of the new council includes two active or inactive university Presidents, two faculty members who had assumed such positions outside the country, or two native leading intellectuals.
The Higher Council of the University is the dominant power over the university affairs: it draws out policies, issues decisions to implement and achieve the objectives of the university (especially those pertaining to the creation of new colleges and departments), proposes budgets, and systems of faculty salaries, annuities, and financial awards.
Royal Decree no M/6 of 1972 superseded the Statute of 1967. With the new Statute, the membership of the Higher Council of the University includes five active or inactive university Presidents, or native leading intellectuals. To the council are also added the University Secretary General and two other non-university members. Again, the Statute dictates the creation of an Academic Council overlooking scholarly research and studies. The Higher Council of the University issues the bylaws governing the number of the Academic Council’s members, responsibilities, and powers.
These decrees were issued in response to the growing and widening needs of the university as the establishment of new colleges started. Between 1958-1960, three colleges were established: the College of Sciences, College of Business (now the College of Public Administration) and the College of Pharmacy. In 1961/1962 women were first admitted into the College of Arts and the College of Public Administration.
Five years later the College of Agriculture was established. In the same year the College of Engineering and College of Education, having been under the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the UNESCO, were annexed to the University. A year later (1969/1970) the College of Medicine opened. In 1974/1975 the Arabic Language Institute was inaugurated to serve non-Arabic speakers. At this time deanships of Admission and Registration, Students Affairs, Libraries were also established. Again, a year later (1976) the College of Dentistry and the College of Applied Medical Sciences were added to the Riyadh campus, while launching at the same time the Abha-based campus with the College of Education. In 1977 the Graduate College assumed its office in supervising and organizing all graduate programs in the various departments of the University.
At Abha, the College of Medicine was established according to Royal Order no. 3/M/380 of 1979 and was added to the University according to Royal Directive no. 15128 of 29/6/1400H. Formal study there started in the academic year of 1980/1981.
In 1980 another branch of the University opened at Qassim with three colleges: Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, and Economics and Administration. Formal study started in 1980/1981 academic year.
King Saud University
In 1981, celebrating its 25th anniversary, the University of Riyadh went back to its original name of King Saud University at the orders of King Khalid bin Abdulaziz. In that year, too, the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education replaced the Center for Community Service, and King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) was formally opened.
Two years later (1983) two other colleges were created: the College of Computer and Information Science Sciences and the College of Architecture and Planning. Later, in 1990, the Institute of Languages and Translation was established to be turned four years later into the full-fledged College of Languages and Translation.
In 1993, the Royal ratification of the System of the Council of Higher Education and Universities was issued dictating that each university form its own Council which attends to its academic, administrative, and financial affairs, and carries out its general policy.
In 1996, the Council of Higher Education issued its decision no. 1282/A approving the creation of the Center for Consulting and Research which was renamed King Abdullah Center for Consulting and Research.
In 1997, Royal Decree no. 33 dictated the creation of a King Saud University Community College in Jazan, as well as the establishment of the College of Sciences at the Qassim campus.
In 1998, Royal Order no. 7/78/M of 11/3/1419 decreed that King Khalid University be created in the south. The branches of Imam University and of King Saud University consequently formed the new university. In the same year, after the issuance of the unified regulations for Graduate Studies at Saudi universities, the Graduate College became the Deanship of Graduate Studies, and the Deanship of Academic Research was established in accordance with the dictates of the System of Academic Research issued that year.
In 2000, the College of Medicine was established at the Qassim campus, and the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education was turned into the College of Applied Studies and Community Service.
In 2001, the Community College in Riyadh was inaugurated according to the Cabinet Council no. 73. During the academic year of 2002/2003 the College of Science at Al-Jouf was established. That same year the College of Engineering was opened at the Qassim campus, and the creation of community colleges at Al-Majma’ah, Al-Aflaj, and Al-Qurayat was approved.
Beginning with the academic year 2003/2004 Qassim campus became an independent university. On 2003, the Council of Higher Education approved the promotion of the Department of Nursing, College of Applied Medical Sciences, into the College of Nursing.
The following were the Presidents of University since its inception:
|Dr. Abdulwahab bin Mohammed Azam||1957||1959|
|Sheikh Nasser Al-manqour||1959||1960|
|Abdulaziz bin Muhammad Al-Khwaiter||1961||1971|
|Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Fadda||1971||1979|
|Mansour bin Ibrahim Al-Turki||1979||1990|
|Ahmad bin Muhammad Al-Dhubaib||1990||1995|
|Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Faisal||1995||2007|
|Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman||2007||2012|
|Dr. Badran Al-Omar||2012||now|