King Abdulaziz University

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Coordinates: 21°29′38″N 39°15′1″E / 21.49389°N 39.25028°E / 21.49389; 39.25028

King Abdulaziz University (KAU)
جامعة الملك عبد العزيز
King Abdulaziz University (emblem).jpg
Mottoاقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
"Read! In the name of your Lord Who created" [Qur'an], C:96. V:1
EndowmentUS$1 billion
PresidentAbdulrahman Obaid AI-Youbi
Administrative staff
Location, ,
CampusBoth urban and rural
WebsiteOfficial website
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia played a significant role in King Abdulaziz University's success.

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) (Arabic: جامعة الملك عبد العزيز‎) is a public university in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was established in 1967 as a private university, by a group of businessmen led by Muhammad Abu Bakr Bakhashab and including writer Hamza Bogary.[2] In 1974, King Abdulaziz University was converted to a public university by a decision of the Council Ministers of Saudi Arabia under then-King Faisal's orders. In 2016, it was ranked the #1 Arab university by Times Higher Education.[3]


Private university[edit]

In the year 1964, the idea of establishing a private university in the city of Jeddah was originally put forward by Mohamed Ali Hafez. In the same year, a preparatory committee of 6 members was formed, including Mohamed Ali Hafez and Muhammad Abu Bakr Bakhashab. Shortly after, then-Crown Prince Faisal officially approved the idea. In 1965, the university's executive committee was formed. In 1966, the KAU held a competition to design their logo. The winning design was submitted by Adbul-Halim Radwi, a local artist from Jeddah.[4]

In the year 1967, King Abdulaziz University was officially established as a private university, with goals to spread higher education in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Prior to this date, there were no higher-education institutions in Jeddah. These goals were met through efforts of high-ranking businessmen and notable Saudi figures; and additionally with the help of King Faisal's encouragement and financial support. The university started its first academic year in 1968, with a relatively small number of students (68 male - 30 female). In 1969, the first faculty was established (Faculty of Economics and Administration). In 1970, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was established.

Public university (1974-Present)[edit]

In 1974, the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia decided to merge the university with the government; converting it to a public university. This major decision spurred the impressive transformation to where the university stands today. King Abdulaziz University has further witnessed tremendous quantitative and qualitative progress in terms of enrollment and diversity of academic programs. It is now recognized as a world-class university due to its international outreach and collaboration in research, innovation, accreditations and rankings. It does this while continuing to maintain its traditional commitment to delivering outstanding education and community service. As of 2017, it had almost 31,000 students, of which 28% are international, and is considered to be one of the best universities in the Arab world.[5]

In 2018, it was ranked the 1st Arab university by Times Higher Education due to very strong citation impact and highly international outlook.[6] It also ranked no. 1 in percentage of total publications with international collaboration, according to US News rankings.[7]

Research Programs[edit]

Between 2004 and 2014, King Abdulaziz University enacted a program to attract the international community and has welcomed nearly 150 researches or various disciplines. The university has developed international research partners, including in Morocco where it has developed a joint lunar research program with the Astronomic Observatory of Oukaïmeden.[8] The university has 13 different research centers, predominantly in the fields of medicine (medical genomes and osteoperosis), environment and energy, climate change, and desalination.[9]

Founded in the 1970s by Sami Angawi, the research center on pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj Research Center) conducts a series of works around the religious event, notably on the aspects of logistics surrounding the pilgrimage.[10]


University yard
Empty classrooms
Classroom with TV cameras, for remote teaching

Faculty of Engineering[edit]

These programs are accredited by ABET as Substantially Equivalent Programs since 2003.[11]

Faculty of Economics and Administration[edit]

The Faculty of Economics and Administration was the first college to be established in King Abdulaziz University, and until this day it is called "The Base of Founder's University," referring to the founder of the country.

  • Department of Business Administration
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Marketing
  • Department of Human Resource Management
  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Management Information Systems
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Health Administration
  • Department of Public Administration
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Law (defunct in 2012; separated into a new faculty)

In 2015, FEA received its fourth international accreditation, the AACSB making it one of the top business colleges in the middle east and across the world.

Faculty of Law[edit]

The Faculty of Law was established in 2012 as it segregated from Faculty of Economics and Administration.

  • Public Law
  • Private Law

Other faculties[edit]

  • Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Faculty of Communication and Media
  • Faculty of Computing and Information Technology
  • Faculty of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture
  • Faculty of Nursing
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Earth Sciences
  • Faculty of Environmental Designs
  • Faculty of Home Economics
  • Faculty of Marine Sciences
  • Faculty of Tourism
  • Faculty of Maritime Studies


University rankings
ARWU World[12] 101-150 (2018)
THE World[14] 201-250 (2018)
USNWR World[15] 110 (2018)
QS World[13] 186 (2019)
USNWR Arab Region[16] 2 (2018)
QS Arab Region[17] 4 (2018)

According to World University Rankings, King Abdulaziz University is ranked at number 186[18] in the world's top universities ranking by the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). [19]

Awards & Accreditations[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "جامعة الملك عبدالعزيز - تاريخنا". 2017-09-28. Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  2. ^ King Abdulaziz University list of founders.
  3. ^ "Arab universities: The kingdom is king". The Economist. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  4. ^ "King Abdulaziz University signs 3-year partnership with The Undergraduate Awards". 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  5. ^ "King Abdulaziz University". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  6. ^ Aarti Nagraj (21 March 2018). "Revealed: Top 10 universities in the Arab region". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. ^ "King Abdulaziz University". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Entretien avec le directeur de l'Observatoire astronomique de l'Oukaïmeden". (in French). 26 February 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Research staff". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Stampede near Mecca kills at least 717 pilgrims". 24 September 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-12-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018
  13. ^ QS World University Rankings 2019
  14. ^ World University Rankings 2018
  15. ^ U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2018
  16. ^ U.S. News Education: Best Arab Region Universities Rankings 2018
  17. ^ QS Arab Region University Rankings 2018
  18. ^ "King Abdulaziz University (KAU)". Top Universities. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  19. ^ "King Abdulaziz University". Times Higher Education (THE). 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2019-01-29.

External links[edit]